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 Meade LX-200 with Schmidt-Cassegrain* optics and a 16” primary mirror has a digital CCD camera for taking digital images that can be viewed and processed on a computer. 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.
Next Public Viewing
FRIDAY, April 19, 2013, from 8:30 PM CDT to 10:30 PM CDT
The evening viewing begins with a 61% waxing gibbous moon high in the southern sky and beautiful Jupiter in the western sky. By 9:30 PM astronomical twilight ends and (provided the sky is clear) other beautiful celestial objects can be seen. By the end of the viewing session ringed planet Saturn becomes visible just above the southeastern horizon. Note: This is the last Public Night of the Fall 2012 – Spring 2013 academic year. Public Nights begin again in September 2013.
On hand to guide viewing will be S.U. Physics Department faculty and talented observers from the Williamson County Astronomy Club. 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 up-to-date news and information about public viewing nights - including weather-related updates - call the Fountainwood Observatory Hotline at 512/ 863-1242.
Spring 2013 Schedule
Public Night, Friday, Jan 18, 2013, 8:00 PM to 10:30 PM CST. Sunset 5:55 PM CST. Astronomical twilight ends 7:19 PM CST. Lunar Phase: First Quarter Moon, the Moon is above the horizon for the entire event.
Note: The Sun and Moon data listed above are from the USNO Naval Oceanography Portal.
2011 Best of Austin Award
The Austin Chronicle gave the Fountainwood Observatory a 2011 Best of Austin Award. Read what they said about the observatory’s public viewing nights here.