White Background with Triangle Pattern


The Oakley Observatory is a success thanks to generous donors. We are sincerely grateful to all who make possible this wonderful resource for our campus and our community.

Donors Make It All Possible


Almost all of the major equipment in the Oakley Observatory (telescopes, telescope mounts, CCD cameras, computers etc.) have been purchased with funds donated to the astronomy program at Rose-Hulman. In particular, the Oakley Foundation of Terre Haute has been very generous and their support made possible the current observatory. Rose-Hulman provides the observatory with its operating budget, but there is also a need to replace or upgrade older equipment. Both hardware and software companies are constantly improving their products. It is very important to the continued operation of the observatory that our equipment does not become obsolete. 

Telescopes in Oakley Observatory

Permanently mounted telescopes inside the Oakley Observatory are ready for use on any clear night.

The mounts that point and track most of our telescopes were state-of-the-art when they were purchased. But now they have been superseded by a newer model that is faster at slewing the telescope, more accurate in pointing, can carry larger telescopes and more equipment and allows routing all of the cables through the mount. We have one of the new mounts. Replacement parts are no longer available for the old mounts. The next time a mount has an electrical problem, we will simply be without a mount.

Oakley Observatory

We will soon need to replace the computers that control the mounts and allow remote operations of the telescopes, as well as the computers that we use to process images and analyze the data. The computers that we need must have fast processors, lots of RAM and large hard drives. Replacements will cost approximately $2,000 each.

There are also pieces of equipment that would enhance our observatory such as a stellar spectrometer ($4,000). The best way to ensure the continued operation of the observatory is to build an endowment specifically for the observatory.

Donations may be made to Rose-Hulman by specifying that the money go to the astronomy program. One of our largest and most consistent donors, Gene Glass of the class of 1949, was honored with the name of an asteroid (32564 Glass).


"For everyone, as I think, must see that astronomy compels the soul to look upwards and leads us from this world to another.

- Glaucon, the older brother of Plato

380 BCE

Oakley Extras!

Check out our Oakley Observatory Clear Sky Chart!

For a current astronomer's forecast, follow the link below. This chart 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!

A directional compass showing North, East, South, and West.

Oakley Basics

  • IAU Observatory Code: 916
  • Latitude: 39° 29° 2° North
  • Longitude: 87° 18° 59° West
  • Elevation: 178 m

Oakley Webcam

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

Launch Root Quad
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