• Observatory Night Sky Viewing 4
  • Observatory Night Sky Viewing 3
  • Observatory Night Sky Viewing 1
  • Observatory Night Sky Viewing 2

Observatory pictures from an earlier viewing. Objects seen included planets, globular clusters, open clusters, nebulae, galaxies, moons and double stars.




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.

Astronomy Talks and Observatory Viewing - Fall Semester 2018


Talks are held in 271 Centennial Science Hall (CSH) regardless of the weather. Then, if the night sky is clear, the observatory viewing sessions are located on the third floor observation deck. All events are free, open to the public, and suitable for all ages.

Call 715-425-3560 or visit after 6 p.m. on the day of the event to see whether the night is expected to be clear enough for viewing.

Email for information on pre-observatory talks and for observatory information.

Objects to be seen include planets, globular clusters, open clusters, nebulae, galaxies, moons and double stars. The presenter for all three talks is Physics Professor Eileen Korenic.

Tuesday, Oct. 9

  • 8 p.m. Talk: “Planetary Nebulae: How the Bunsen Burner Solved a Mystery”
  • 8:30 p.m. Telescopes (new moon)

Wednesday, Nov. 7

  • 8 p.m. Talk: “Hyabusa Missions: Falcons but not from River Falls”
  • 8:30 p.m. Telescopes (new moon)

Tuesday, Dec. 11      

  • 8 p.m. Talk: “Dark Energy: Does It ‘Matter’?”
  • 8:30 p.m. Telescopes (waxing crescent)

Note: Sunday, Nov. 4, Daylight Saving Time ends

Observing Tips | Stargazing Links

The observatory is on the third floor, south side of Centennial Science Hall (CSH), at the corner of 6th Street and Cascade Avenue. Sessions are free and open to the public. 

If you would like to be on our "stargazers" email distribution list, send an email using the address you wish to subscribe to with the following message body:
SUBSCRIBE stargazers

If you need assistance or elevator access to the third floor, please let us know (elevator keying is required). Talks are in 271 CSH on the opposite side of the building, closest to the north entrance.

Weather Conditions for Viewing
The sky should be almost completely clear, so look up before you leave home. Generally, we will cancel a session by 6 p.m. and post our decision here to allow for adequate setup time. 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

Contact Us

Physics Department
Phone: 715-425-3235
Fax:  715-425-0652