The Astronomy Guide:  Our Universe Unveiled
Horsehead Nebula
Image Credit: NASA/courtesy of
SPD-HUBBLE-STScI-200 1-12c
Andromeda Galaxy, M31
Image Credit: NASA/Swift/Stefan Immler (GSFC) and Erin Grand (UMCP)
SPD-HUBBLE-STScI-200 1-12c
Surface of Venus
Image credit: NASA/JPL





An observatory is a location used to observe celestial objects and phenomena. Ground-based observatories are typically built in locations where light pollution is at a minimum.


Modine-Benstead Observatory

The Modine-Benstead Observatory is located in Union Grove, Wisconsin. The observatory is operated on a volunteer basis by the Racine Astronomical Society.


The observatory houses a 16" Newtonian-Cassegrain reflecting telescope, which uses a 6" refractor to guide it. Another section of the observatory houses a 14" Celestron Schmitt Cassegrain reflecting telescope.


The observatory is open to the public on select Friday evenings from April through October, weather permitting. Star parties are also available for members only.


For more information on the Modine-Benstead Observatory or the Racine Astronomical Society, please visit


Yerkes Observatory

The Yerkes Observatory is located in Williams Bay, Wisconsin. The observatory is operated by the University of Chicago. The site houses a 40" refractor telescope - the largest refractor telescope utilized for astronomy. Other equipment includes 40" and 24" reflecting telescopes, along with a series of smaller telescopes.

Weekly tours are available, along with special programs for families and scouting groups.

For more information on the Yerkes Observatory and current events, please visit


Dearborn Observatory

The Dearborn Observatory is located at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. The observatory houses an 18.5" refracting telescope, which can be used for public viewing.


The observatory is open to the public every Friday evening. Groups can make reservations for other evenings during the week as well. The events are considered as interactive - groups are encouraged to ask questions.


For more information on the Dearborn Observatory and current events, please visit



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