Every Wednesday night while OU is in session, the Physics and Astronomy department sponsors FREE public star parties on the roof of the observatory, which is located on the East side of Asp Avenue just South of Lindsey Avenue. Look for the building with the white dome on top. To reach the roof, climb the exterior staircase on the West side of the building.
Note: Regrettably, the observatory roof is currently wheelchair inaccessible. This staircase is the only way to reach the roof.
Future: Coming soon is our new observatory that will be wheelchair accessible, ~2018-2019
A typical night could include a planet or two, binary stars, star clusters, or maybe one of the brighter nebulae. All ages are welcome, but we ask that younger children be under adult supervision at all times.
Viewing times change throughout the year, so please check this page for current observing times and weather cancellations. The final decision on weather cancellations will be made three hours before the scheduled start time at the latest. For the latest cloud predictions at the observatory, go to current weather or click on the clouds:
We have obtained permission for visitors to park in the Asp Parking Garage north of Lindsey on star party evenings.
Built in 1939, with a 10 inch Newtonian reflector and a smaller 3.5 inch telescope, it was housed in a 16-foot dome atop what was at the time, the southernmost building on campus. In 1995, the original 10 inch telescope was replaced by a 0.4 metres (16 inches) Meade SCT (shown below) (Credit wikipedia). Currently the facility houses an 11 inch Celestron, numerous smaller 8 inch Celestrons, in addition to the main 16 inch Meade. Future plans of a new 14 inch Meade SCT will be installed at the new Chun Li Hall observatory ~2019.
While the facilities used to be utilized by OKC and Norman proper for research purposes, the telescopes have since retired to be used for outreach and public service. During the time of research, professional photographics plates were taken in numerous surveys and detailed observations runs by students, professors, and researchers. Nearly 20,000 original photographic glass plates are still housed at the observatory.
Please contact us if you are interested in any of the work we do or have any questions...