Wisconsin boasts some of the most famous observatories in the history of astronomy. Some of the professional university observatories and all of the amateur club observatories have open houses where members of the public can tour the facilities and view the heavens through very large telescopes.

Since astronomers want to get the best view of the night sky, observatories are typically located in more remote areas. This is because artificial light, literally spilling into the sky from the many thousands of poorly-designed light fixtures in the typical municipality, spoils the natural view of the heavens. In fact, when people come out to observatory locations, they are often just as impressed with the naked-eye view of the starry sky as they are with the views through the telescope.

Astronomy Club Observatories

Milwaukee, WI Milwaukee Astronomical Society Observatories
Belgium, WI Jim & Gwen Plunkett Observatory
Pewaukee, WI Harken Observatory
Racine, WI Modine-Bensted Observatory
Oshkosh, WI Mosquito Hill Observatory
Madison, WI Yanna Research Station
Sturgeon Bay, WI Leif Everson Observatory
Fall Creek, WI Hobbs Observatory

Historically Significant Observatories

Madison, WI Washburn Observatory
Lake Geneva, WI Yerkes Observatory