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, located on the meadow at the center of the arboretum at Hawthorn Hollow, 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

—Help Us Upgrade Our Telescope—

Upcoming Events

Beneath the Cosmos August 2022

Beneath the Cosmos August 2022

Monday, Aug. 15 (9:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.) Aug. 22, 29 (8:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.)

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 rescheduled by e-mail 24-hours before the scheduled start time in the event of a cloud cover forecast greater than 40%.

Dress appropriately for being still in nighttime outdoor weather.

Purchase tickets here or email observatory@hawthornhollow.org

Wine Wednesdays Under the Stars August 2022

Wine Wednesdays Under the Stars August 2022

Wednesday, Aug. 3, 10 (9:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.) Aug. 17, 24, 31 (8:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.)

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 will be rescheduled by e-mail 24 hours before scheduled if the cloud cover forecast is greater than 40%.

Dress appropriately for nighttime outdoor weather.

Purchase tickets here or email observatory@hawthornhollow.org.

Through the Lens August 2022

Through the Lens August 2022

Thursday, Aug. 4 (9:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.) Aug. 25 (8:30 p.m. – 10:30 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 will be rescheduled by e-mail 24 hours before scheduled if the cloud cover forecast is greater than 40%.

Dress appropriately for nighttime outdoor weather.

Purchase tickets here or email observatory@hawthornhollow.org.

Small Eyes Under the Skies August 2022

Small Eyes Under the Skies August 2022

Friday, Aug. 5 (8:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.) Aug. 19, 26 (8:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.)

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 12 total individuals so reserve your tickets early.

In the event of cloud cover of more than 40% we will reschedule the event. Look for a confirmation email at least 24 hours prior to the event date.

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.

Perseids Meteor Shower II

Perseids Meteor Shower II

Friday (August 12) 11:15 pm – 1:00 am

The Perseid meteor shower (also known as The Perseids) is perhaps the most popular meteor shower of the year, visible between July and August. With clear skies, you could see what some consider the most spectacular cosmic light show.

American spectators can expect to see the greatest number of meteors during the shower’s peak between Aug. 11-12 this year, according to the American Meteor Society (AMS).

Every year, Earth passes through the path of Comet Swift-Tuttle from July 17 to Aug. 24, with the shower’s peak — when Earth passes through the densest, dustiest area — occurring Aug. 11-12. That means you’ll see the most meteors in the shortest amount of time near that time. Years without moonlight see higher rates of meteors per hour, and in outburst years (such as in 2016) the rate can be between 150-200 meteors an hour.

Reserve your tickets for The Schoolyard Observatory Perseids Meteor shower event and enjoy a relaxing display of the meteors as you lay back in our zero gravity chairs. Tickets for this event go fast so reserve yours today.

Any questions? Contact us at Observatory@hawthornhollow.org

Purchase Tickets Here.

NASA@MyLibrary: Open House at The Schoolyard Observatory

NASA@MyLibrary: Open House at The Schoolyard Observatory

Saturday, August 27 9:00 pm

We invite you to enjoy an evening of stargazing and telescope viewing at the Charles and Kathryn Heide Schoolyard Observatory at Hawthorn Hollow Nature Sanctuary and Arboretum. Take a trip through our solar system as we discover sizes and distances of our nearest neighbors. Learn about the moon, it’s phases, and why the moon is so important to live on Earth.  There will be variety of telescopes on hand with volunteers to guide you in seeing the night’s brightest objects. Visitors are welcome to bring personal binoculars or telescopes.
This is a free adult & family outdoor event with no set viewing schedule (arrive or depart when you want), weather permitting (less 30% clouds). Dress appropriately for being still in nighttime outdoor weather.
Questions? Feel free to email: observatory@hawthornhollow.org
Perseids Meteor Shower II

Perseids Meteor Shower I

Friday (August 12) 9:00 pm – 11:00 pm

The Perseid meteor shower (also known as The Perseids) is perhaps the most popular meteor shower of the year, visible between July and August. With clear skies, you could see what some consider the most spectacular cosmic light show.

American spectators can expect to see the greatest number of meteors during the shower’s peak between Aug. 11-12 this year, according to the American Meteor Society (AMS).

Every year, Earth passes through the path of Comet Swift-Tuttle from July 17 to Aug. 24, with the shower’s peak — when Earth passes through the densest, dustiest area — occurring Aug. 11-12. That means you’ll see the most meteors in the shortest amount of time near that time. Years without moonlight see higher rates of meteors per hour, and in outburst years (such as in 2016) the rate can be between 150-200 meteors an hour.

Reserve your tickets for The Schoolyard Observatory Perseids Meteor shower event and enjoy a relaxing display of the meteors as you lay back in our zero gravity chairs. Tickets for this event go fast so reserve yours today.

Any questions? Contact us at Observatory@hawthornhollow.org

Purchase Tickets Here.