Gaze Beyond the Screen: Hobbs Observatory

Bert Moritz

Hobbs Observatory is a unique public observatory located in Beaver Creek Reserve. This facility exists through the cooperation of the Friends of Beaver Creek Reserve, UW-Eau Claire, Eau Claire County, and the Chippewa Valley Astronomical Society. Besides research conducted by the university on asteroids and staff participation in the NASA NEO Project, the facility is open to the public.

The observatory boasts two large, main telescopes, each located under a large dome. The larger of the two is a 24-inch Newtonian telescope and it was installed in 1987. The other main telescope is a 14-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope. It was purchased in 2006. The Robert Elliott Classroom serves as a lecture hall and meeting space. 

Hobbs Observatory has two offerings for the public. First, the public is invited to view the night sky with the telescopes every Saturday night between May 1 and Oct. 31. The skies must be clear and observing starts one hour after sunset. Second, every third Saturday of each month a lecture on a select topic in astronomy is presented in the classroom. The start time is 8pm and observing follows if weather allows. Visits to the observatory are free of charge. 

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