Jacobsen Observatory

tjoThe Theodor Jacobsen Observatory is the second-oldest structure on the campus. Built in 1895, the Observatory with its 120-year old, 6-inch refracting telescope is still offering celestial views of the wonders of the Universe. Here you will find information on opened nights, making reservations, a history of the telescope, a history of astronomy at the UW, and even an operating manual for the telescope. Come join us in a tour; there is no charge to learn about and view the night sky!

UW Planetarium

uw_planetariumBuilt with the new building in 1994, the 30 foot diameter dome of the UW planetarium provides a unique space in which students can explore the night sky. It currently houses an 8-million pixel digital display, combined with the World-Wide Telescope interface. This fully digital dome allows for a truly interactive and immersive planetarium experience.

Mobile Planetarium


The UW Mobile Planetarium brings an immersive experience of the Universe down from space and into schools. In addition to attending public events, we work closely with science teachers to help their students create tours of the universe. The planetarium’s dome is an inflatable Go-Dome. Inside, we run Microsoft Research’s World Wide Telescope software on a laptop computer. A large hemispherical mirror projects the HD image from the back of the dome to create an image that partially surrounds the audience.

Astro in the High School


In this website you will find information to teach a UW-level astronomy course in your high school. as part of the UW in the High School (UWHS) program. This website is intended to support science teachers at the high school level who are in, or thinking about joining, the UWHS program.


The Clearinghouse provides a way for astronomy educators to share assignments, activities, and teaching tips. This material is made available under a Creative Commons license that allows you to adapt it as you like, as long as you credit the authors and use it for non-commercial purposes.

Astronomy for the Sight Impaired

Currently astronomy education is heavily geared towards visual aids; however, roughly 10 million people in North America are sight impaired. Over the last ten years, Noreen Grice has developed Braille and large print astronomy text books aimed at sight impaired learners. This project build upon Grice’s written work and present a five day lesson plan that integrates hands on activities with readings.

Perhaps you’re interested in astronomy as a career? Check out our undergraduate program or our graduate program. Get Involved!

If you prefer to participate as an amateur you can join a club. A list of clubs is available below, and on the Astronomical League website.