Fountainwood OBSERVATORY

Southwestern’s large research-quality reflecting telescope was donated to the Physics Department by Max Allen, a local engineer and builder who was also an amateur astronomer. This instrument is used by faculty and students for research, and programs of general interest to the public are conducted each month during the academic year.

FALL 2017 Observatory Events

Sun and Moon data from the USNO website.

September 17th, 2016

  • Fountainwood Observatory Public Night
    8:00pm - 10:30pm

    Sun and Moon data: Sunset 7:33 PM CDT. Astronomical twilight ends 8:54 PM CDT. Lunar Phase: 97%. The Moon is above the horizon for the entire event.

    The evening viewing begins with a just past full Moon rising in the east. On this evening the Moon is one day past perigee (its closest approach to Earth) so it will appear a little larger and brighter than usual in the sky. Though the extra light will swamp dimmer objects the bright planets Mars and Saturn can still be viewed in the early part of the event. In addition a variety of bright double stars can be seen.

    On hand to guide viewing will be S.U. Physics Department faculty and talented observers from the Williamson County Astronomy Club. Regular Fountainwood Viewing Nights are always FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. The Observatory is located on the northeast side of campus adjacent to the Rockwell Baseball Field. For weather-related updates call the Fountainwood Observatory Hotline at 512/ 863-1242.

October 8th, 2016

  • Fountainwood Observatory Public Night / Yoga Under the Stars
    8:00pm - 10:30pm

    Sun and Moon data: Sunset 7:07 PM CDT. Astronomical twilight ends 8:27 PM CDT. Lunar Phase: 41% waxing crescent. The Moon is above the horizon for the entire event.

November 5th, 2016

  • Fountainwood Observatory Public Night (SU Homecoming)
    8:00pm - 10:30pm

    Sun and Moon data: Sunset 6:39 PM CDT. Astronomical twilight ends 8:01 PM CDT. Lunar Phase: 25% waxing crescent. The Moon is above the horizon for the entire event.

December 3rd, 2016

  • Fountainwood Observatory Public Night
    8:00pm - 10:30pm

    Sun and Moon data: Sunset 5:29 PM CST. Astronomical twilight ends 6:54 PM CST. Lunar Phase: 13% waxing crescent, Moon sets at 9:18 PM CST.