• Observatory Night Sky Viewing 4
  • Observatory Night Sky Viewing 1
  • Observatory Night Sky Viewing 2

>>Photo of the Day provided by NASA.



The UWRF Observatory, located on third floor of Centennial Science Hall (south end stairwell) is equipped with a 16-inch Meade computer-controlled LX200GPS mounted under the dome, three portable telescopes (two 12-inch Meade LX200 and one 18-inch Obsession Dobsonian), Coronado SolarMax60 and PST Solar Telescopes. We also have two parallel RadioJOVE telescopes installed on the roof of Rodli Hall across the street, in addition to a number of QuarkNet cosmic ray air shower detectors running at various times throughout the year.

Independent Viewing for the Summer Season:

Jupiter and Saturn take the spotlight this summer
When to view: July 14, July 20

(Try this on your own...)
The two biggest planets in our solar system will be the main feature in the summer sky as Jupiter and Saturn shine side by side all season long.
The middle of July will be the best time of the summer to view the planets, with or without a telescope, as they will both be reaching opposition. This is the point in their orbits where they will be closest to the Earth, making them appear brighter than any other point in the year. Jupiter will reach opposition on July 14 followed by Saturn on July 20.

>>More easy viewing: provides excellent daily images from space & updates by NASA.

Astronomy Talks & Viewings

(Future dates for talks & observatory viewings are pending)

Talks are held in 271 CSH and, if the night is clear, the observatory viewing sessions will be on the third floor deck of CSH. Both are free, open to the public, and suitable for all ages. People can call 715-425-3560 or view this web page after 6 p.m. on the day to see whether the night is clear enough for viewing, but the talk will go on as scheduled. Objects to be seen include planets, globular clusters, open clusters, nebulae, galaxies, moons, and double stars.

Questions? Email Eileen Korenic at for information on pre-observatory talks and Glenn Spiczak at for observatory information.

Stargazing Links & more viewing tips:

If you need assistance or elevator access to the third floor of Centennial Science Hall, please let us know since an elevator key is required. Talks are in room 271 CSH on the opposite side of the building, closest to the north entrance.

Clear Sky Chart 

(opens in a new window)

Weather Conditions for Observatory Viewing

The sky should be almost clear, so look up before you leave home. Generally, we will cancel a session by 6 pm (to allow for adequate set up time) and post the decision on our department web page
The talk will go on regardless of the weather.

Our decision is a best guess based on current satellite images and forecasts, but occasionally we are fooled and request your forgiveness. Check this site or call 715-425-3560 for the latest update.

Feel free to make your own weather prediction using

Richard D. Swensen Sundial

The sundial on the Kleinpell Fine Arts (KFA) building was designed by emeriti Dr. John Shepherd. You will find it on the outside south wall of KFA, located on Cascade Avenue just west of Centennial Science Hall. It faces the University Center (UC) along the main east-west walkway through the center of campus.

A history and directions for reading the sundial are available at How to Read Sundial.

Contact Us

Physics Department
Phone: 715-425-3235

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