The Charles and Kathryn Heide Schoolyard Observatory at Hawthorn Hollow features a Meade LX200 – ACF 16″ telescope on an Alt-Az mount in an automated dome as well as two mounts for smaller telescopes outside the dome. The observatory hosts daytime and nighttime field trips & classes, scout merit badge workshops as well as star parties and astrophotography projects. Please send inquiries or requests for events to:
observatory@hawthornhollow.org

Upcoming Events

Wine Wednesdays Under the Stars December 2021

Wine Wednesdays Under the Stars December 2021

Wednesdays 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Relax in a zero-gravity chair with your own wine or beverage you bring while we guide you through the night sky, using our laser pointer to show you stars, planets, constellations, galaxies, and other objects of interest while explaining their relationships and significance.

These events are weather-dependent, and each two-hour session will be canceled by e-mail 24 hours before scheduled if the cloud cover forecast is greater than 30%.

Dress appropriately for nighttime outdoor weather.

Purchase tickets here or email observatory@hawthornhollow.org.

Beneath the Cosmos December 2021

Beneath the Cosmos December 2021

Mondays  7:00pm – 9:00 pm

Relax in a zero-gravity chair while we guide you through the night sky, using our laser pointer to show you stars, planets, constellations, galaxies, and other objects of interest while explaining their relationships and significance. 

These events are weather-dependent and will be canceled by e-mail 24-hours before the scheduled start time in the event of a cloud cover forecast greater than 30%.

Dress appropriately for being still in nighttime outdoor weather.

Purchase tickets here or email observatory@hawthornhollow.org

Through the Lens December 2021

Through the Lens December 2021

Thursdays 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Take turns looking through our 16-inch telescope at binary stars, dim planets, distant galaxies, and other sky objects. Between individual views in the observatory dome, receive a guided sky tour standing outside under the stars to appreciate the broader picture of what you see through the telescope.

These events are weather-dependent, and each two-hour session will be canceled by e-mail 24 hours before scheduled if the cloud cover forecast is greater than 30%.

Dress appropriately for nighttime outdoor weather.

Purchase tickets here or email observatory@hawthornhollow.org.

Small Eyes Under the Skies December 2021

Small Eyes Under the Skies December 2021

Fridays 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 pm

Bring the family out to the Schoolyard Observatory and take a trip through the solar system on the meadow as we learn about the size and distance of our closest neighbors. Take our interactive trip followed by an adventure through the telescope to view the planets and other amazing objects. “Space” is limited to 10 total individuals so reserve your tickets early.

Contact observatory@hawthornhollow.org for group/family rate discounts.

Please remember to dress appropriately for an outdoor trek through the solar system (the field).

Purchase tickets here or email observatory@hawthornhollow.org.

Astronomy of Native America 2021

Astronomy of Native America 2021

Tuesday (Nov. 30) 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Have you ever looked up at the night sky and wondered what someone standing in the same spot in the past saw and thought when they looked up?

500 years ago contact between Europeans and Indigenous Americans of the time changed the world, resulting in the collapse of Aztec and Inca empires and triggering a hemispheric pandemic that may have caused the Little Ice Age which ensued. Prior to this contact, indigenous American conceptions of the sky had no input from the astronomical ideas circulating in the rest of the world.

On Tuesday, November 30, in a series of short, five-to-fifteen-minute presentations by UW-Parkside students currently enrolled in the Astronomy of Native America course, we will explore the range of astronomical understanding and beliefs among indigenous groups of the Americas from the Anishinaabe of the Great Lakes region to the Tawantinsuyu, or Realm of Four Parts, of the Andes Mountains.

Presentations begin at 7:30 pm and proceed until completion, estimated around 9:00 pm. Questions are welcome at the end of each presentation.

After the presentation, we will be heading outside to The Schoolyard Observatory for a brief tour and night-time sky viewing. (Weather permitting)

Safety Precautions: This event, held inside the Hawthorn Hollow Pike House, will follow CDC guidelines for indoor activities, and we request all visitors wear masks to maximize protection from and minimize transmission of airborne illness. Due to increased ventilation, the air temperature may be lower than room temperature inside the Nature Center, and we invite you to layer for your comfort.

Have questions? Please contact us at Observatory@hawthornhollow.org.

For reservations click here

The Geminid Meteor Mash December 2021

The Geminid Meteor Mash December 2021

Monday (Dec. 13) 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm

The Geminid meteor shower is one of the most active and reliable meteor showers of the year! They streak through the sky every minute or two all night.

It is unique because the meteors are visible all night long, since the constellation Gemini arises just an hour or two after nightfall. Most meteor showers require you to wait until midnight or pre-dawn for the best viewing.

The constellation Gemini is the radiant of the Geminid meteor shower, which means that it is the meteor shower’s point of origin. The Geminid meteors will appear to fall away from the constellation Gemini.

This is the best meteor shower of the year so reserve these limited tickets early.

This event is weather-dependent and will be canceled by e-mail 24 hours before the scheduled start time in the event of a cloud cover forecast greater than 30%. We will hold a backup night on December 14 or tickets can be used for our other Schoolyard Observatory events in case of cloud cover.

Dress appropriately for being still in nighttime outdoor weather.

Questions? Feel free to contact us at observatory@hawthornhollow.org

Purchase tickets here, or call 262-552-8196.