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. Please send inquiries or requests for events to:
observatory@hawthornhollow.org

Wine Wednesdays Under the Stars October 2022

Wine Wednesdays Under the Stars October 2022

Wednesdays, 7:30 pm – 9:30 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 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 October 2022

Through the Lens October 2022

Thursdays, 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm

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.

Beneath the Cosmos October 2022

Beneath the Cosmos October 2022

Mondays, 7:30 pm – 9:30 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 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

Small Eyes Under the Skies October 2022

Small Eyes Under the Skies October 2022

Fridays, 6:00 pm – 8:30 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 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.

The Geminid Meteor Mash December 2022

The Geminid Meteor Mash December 2022

Wednesday, December 14 (8:00 PM – 10:00 PM or 10:15 PM – 12:15 AM)

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 40%.

Dress appropriately for being still in nighttime cold outdoor weather.

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

Purchase 8:00-10:00pm tickets here, purchase 10:15-12:15am tickets here, or call 262-552-8196.

Time Travel Through the Universe

Time Travel Through the Universe

Friday October 21 (8:30 pm – 10:30 pm)

When you gaze up at the night sky, through the veil of stars and the plane of the Milky Way close by, you can’t help but feel small before the grand abyss of the Universe that lies beyond. Even though nearly all of them are invisible to our eyes, our observable Universe, extending tens of billions of light years in all directions, contains a fantastically large number of galaxies within it.

The Andromeda Galaxy is the most distant object readily visible to the naked eye. It is 2.5 million light-years away. The light from it that we see right now is 2.5 million years old. We are therefore seeing the Andromeda Galaxy as it was at a time long before modern humans existed!

Come out to The Schoolyard Observatory and we will take you on a tour of visible galaxies going back in time millions of years.

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.

This event may need to be rescheduled if the cloud cover outlook is over 40%. Please watch for a confirmation email from the observatory.

Dress appropriately for nighttime outdoor weather, and insect repellent is highly recommended.

Find tickets here!

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

COVID-19 Safety Precautions: During events, 6-foot social distancing will be maintained, and wearing a facial mask will be required. Chairs will be sanitized before and after each use.