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

Through the Lens June 2021

Through the Lens June 2021

Tuesdays (June 1, 8, 15, 29) 9:30pm – 11:30pm

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 cancelled 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 June 2021

Beneath the Cosmos June 2021

Mondays (June 7, 14, 28) 9:30 pm – 11:30 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 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

Small Eyes Under the Skies June 2021

Fridays (June 4, 11, 18, 25) 8:30 – 10:00 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 bundle up as it is very cold in space! Snow boots and extra layers are highly recommended.

Purchase tickets here or email observatory@hawthornhollow.org.

Virgo Supercluster June 2021

Virgo Supercluster June 2021

Saturday (June 5) 9:30 pm – 11:30 pm

The Milky Way sits near the middle of an assembly of galaxies called the Local Group. This gathering, 10 million light-years wide, lives on the edge of an even larger collection of galaxy clumps called the Local, or Virgo, Supercluster.

As telescopes became more powerful, astronomers could take larger surveys, cataloging more galaxies and their motions, forming a bigger picture: galaxies concentrated along a plane in space. Just as most of the Milky Way’s stars reside in a thin disk, so do most of the galaxies in the Local Supercluster lie along the supercluster’s equator. The center of our supercluster shares a spot in the sky with the constellation Virgo.

Come out to the Schoolyard Observatory as we take you on a trip to our “closest” neighbors within the Virgo Supercluster.

Each 2-hour session will be confirmed by email at least 24 hours before scheduled according to the cloud cover forecast (< 30%). Tickets are transferable for any observatory nightly event in cases of poor weather conditions.

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

Safety Precautions: During events, 6-foot social distancing will be maintained, and wearing a facial mask will be required. Telescope eyepiece and ladder handles will be sanitized before and after each use. Dress appropriately for nighttime outdoor weather, and plan for the blood-sucking flying insects.

Purchase tickets here or call 262-552-8196.

Virgo Supercluster June 2021

Time Travel Through the Universe May 2021

Friday (May 14) 9:30 pm – 11:30 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.

Each 2-hour session will be confirmed by email at least 24 hours before scheduled according to the cloud cover forecast (< 30%). Tickets are good for any evening observatory event and can reschedule based on weather to fit individual schedules.

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

Purchase tickets here or call 262-552-8196.

Wine Wednesdays Under the Stars June 2021

Wine Wednesdays Under the Stars June 2021

Wednesdays (June 23 & 30) 9:30 pm – 11:30 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 each two-hour session will be cancelled 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.

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.