Oakley Observatory


The Oakley Observatory is a multipurpose observatory founded in 2000 as the result of a gift from the Oakley Foundation and is named in their honor. It is located in a clearing in the woods on the east end of campus. The observatory houses eight permanently mounted telescopes. The telescopes include a 6-inch Clark refractor, a 6-inch Takahashi refractor, four 14-inch Celestron Schmidt-Cassegrain reflectors, a 17-inch PlaneWave reflector, and a 20-inch RC Optical reflecting telescope.

In addition, near the Oakley Observatory is the Lynn Reeder Lab. This serves as a classroom/meeting room for the observatory. It also houses our computer lab, a kitchen and a restroom.

Rose-Hulman also has a remote observatory near Coonabarabran, New South Wales, Australia. The Oakley Southern Sky Observatory was established in 2007 again as a result of a gift by the Oakley Foundation and with additional support by Niles and Nancy Noblitt. This observatory houses a 20-inch RC optical reflecting telescope which is operated via the internet.

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IAU Observatory Code: 916

Latitude: 39° 29° 2° North

Longitude: 87° 18° 59° West

Elevation: 178 m

Oakley Observatory Clear Sky Chart

For a current astronomer's forecast, follow this link. It shows when it will be cloudy or clear for up to two days. This is important information if you're hoping to look through a telescope!

Observatory Webcam

We have a live web camera feed from inside the Oakley Observatory which can be viewed here by entering the login name of "public" and the password "Observatory".

Mission Statement

The mission of the Oakley Observatory at Rose-Hulman is to provide our students with the opportunity to enrich their education through a hands-on experience in astronomy and to serve as an astronomical resource for the local community.

mission & Vision

It is our belief that most people have a natural curiosity about the world in which we live, a particular interest in astronomical events, and an awe of the beauty and majesty of the universe. This is certainly true of Rose-Hulman students who are technically and scientifically oriented. It is the role of the Oakley Observatory to provide a means for our students to pursue their interest and curiosity. 

The Oakley Observatory at Rose-Hulman will serve students enrolled in our astronomy and directed research courses. The observatory also serves the Rose-Hulman Astronomical Society, which consists of students from all majors who are interested in astronomy. And finally, the observatory serves the faculty and staff of Rose-Hulman and residents of Wabash valley who have an interest in astronomy. We regularly host star parties for the local community. We also host classes from local schools.