OBSERVATORY STATUS: The observatory dome atop the Science Building will NOT be available for public sessions during the Fall 2023 semester. Our regular Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday evening telescopic stargazing programs will be moved to the North side of the Colman Field, close to the intersection of Maria Dr. and Reserve St. (see map linked below). Parking is available along Reserve Street, just outside the fenced track field. We will start our series of stargzing programs on Monday, September 11, at 8:30PM at the new location, weather permitting.
UWSP Campus Map
Today is Wednesday, November 29, and the stargazing session starts at 8:10 pm.
NEW 2023-2024: We are available for scheduling telescopic stargzaing sessions at your school, on most Friday and Saurday nights (during the Fall 2023), and on most Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights during the Spring 2024. Interested PTO/Principlas from schools in the SPASD district, please email the Observatory director, and we will promptly follow up with a more detailed plan.
Other Upcoming Special Events (weather permitting):
Saturday, October 14 - 10AM-2PM - Colman track field - Observing the Partial Solar Eclipse with a solar telescope, and two other telscopes equipped with safe solar filters - open to the public - no charge.
Saturday, October 21 - 6:45PM-10:00PM - Colman track file - Celebrating the International Observe the Moon Night using telescopes - the primary target will be the Moon, but we will also enjoy the view of Saturn, Jupiter, and a several deep sky objects (nebulae, stellar clusters, galaxies). - As of 8PM it is completely overcast, and we have to cancel the stargazing session, unfortunately.
We offer observing sessions
every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights between 8:30-10:00 PM, weather permitting.
Located on the roof of the Science Building at the UW-Stevens Point campus, the Arthur J. Pejsa Observatory houses a 0.4-m (16-inch) Meade, computer controlled telescope. Normally the observatory is open for public viewing three nights per week (if the skies are clear) during the school year. Monday nights are specifically designed for the public while Tuesday and Wednesday nights are used primarily by astronomy students, but anyone is welcome. Public viewing runs from mid-September to mid-December, then late-January through mid-May. Most summers the observatory is closed. In the winter, dress warmly since the observatory temperature is the same as the outside temperature.
Access to the observatory is obtained by using the southwest stairwell in the Science Building and going to the fourth floor, room D402. Visitors are best advised to go to the third floor and follow the signs to the observatory by accessing the southwest stairwell. IF THE SKIES ARE CLEAR, on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights, from 8:30 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. the Arthur J. Pejsa Observatory is open and is staffed by knowledgeable astronomy students and staff who will find and describe various interesting objects that can be seen in the current night-time sky. The staff will then allow visitors to observe them through the telescope.
NOTE: IF SKIES ARE CLOUDY, THE OBSERVATORY WILL BE CLOSED. ALSO, IF THE TEMPERATURE DROPS BELOW ~10 DEGREES WE WILL ALSO DECIDE TO CLOSE DUE TO TECHNICAL CONSTRAINTS RELATED TO COMPUTER SCREENS, POOR COOMUNICATION BETWEENOMPUTERS, TELESCOPE, AND DOME.
The observatory can be contacted to determine if we are open and have clear skies from any touch-tone phone by calling (715) 346-2208 and selecting the observatory option (number 5) from the automated attendant. On Monday through Wednesday evenings we update our message at about 8:00 p.m. to give visitors our best estimate of the probability of clear skies and if the observatory will be open.