Karl G. Henize Observatory

Drop by, look through a telescope, and prepare to be awed.

Free Community Viewing Sessions

Experience the wonder of the universe and the excitement of discovery. Not only can you observe objects near and far, but volunteers provide interpretation of what you're seeing. Observatory events are free and open to the community.

Fall 2022 Open Observing Schedule:

 
  • Saturday, September 3 8:00-10:00pm 1st Quarter Moon, M13
  • Saturday, September 17 8:00-10:00pm Saturn, Vesta
  • Saturday, October 1 7:00-9:00pm Jupiter near opposition
  • Saturday, October 15 7:00-9:00pm Veil Nebula (C33), M39
  • Saturday, October 29 - Closed for repairs
  • Saturday, November 12 7:00-9:00pm Last session of the season!

The observatory will not be open if it’s cloudy (>50% cloud cover). Please contact kpage@harpercollege.edu for more information.

 

About the Observatory

In 2000, the Observatory was officially named in honor of Karl G. Henize because of his accomplishments as an astronomer and for his dedication to fulfilling his dream of reaching space. His name on the observatory will serve as an inspiration to the youth of today and tomorrow. Dr. Loren W. Acton, Astronomer and Henize's former crewmate dedicated the building in his honor.

The main telescope is a Meade 14" Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope (SCT) on an Astrophysics 1200GTO mount. This allows Harper faculty to do research grade work in the Henize Observatory.

  • Admission is free, however we ask that you please sign in.
  • Plan on staying about an hour. There are often lines for our telescopes. 
  • Visitors climb a 7-foot tall ladder to reach our main telescope. We also operate several telescopes at ground level.
  • Wear comfortable, close-toed shoes. You may be standing in lines and climbing a ladder.
  • Dress for the weather. The observatory is not heated and it can get chilly at night.
  • There are no restrooms or water fountains at the observatory.
  • We can't see anything if it is cloudy, but we may stay open just in case it clears up.
  • The observatory will not be open in rain or inclement weather.

 

Last Updated: 10/3/22