Astronomy 110 Campus Observatory

Picture of Tombaugh Observatory

Astro 110 Campus Observatory is OPEN for Monday, May 4th.

Call the hotline (575-646-6278) after 8 PM on the day of Campus Observatory to see if it will be open or closed

(We often wait until exactly 8 PM to decide if Campus Observatory will be open or closed since we depend on the weather, which can be unpredictable – it is likely the website or phone will not be updated until then). The observatory is open to students from 9 to 10 PM.

For the schedule of Open House nights, which are open to the public, click here.



You are required to turn in FOUR observation sheets for your observatory notebooks from each of your visits to the observatory. Please bring your own copies of the worksheets (the sheets are on the last few pages of your lab manual, linked here).

You must attend once during each half:
First half:  February 3 – March 11
Second half: March 16 – May 6

Note: Please come early in the half if you can! We often have a lot of students wait until the last minute to attend Campus Observatory; however, if the weather happens to be cloudy during that week, you will be out of luck and won’t get credit.

Operating hours are Monday and Wednesday, from 9:00pm to 10:00pm

Turn in your worksheets to your TA during your lab section the following week.

Campus Observatory Hotline: (575) 646-6278


The Campus Observatory is located on Williams Street just to the south of the parking lots, and just in front of the track. It is set back from the street a bit, so look for three domed buildings.

Weather permitting, the observatory is open on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9-10 PM. Please check this page to find out if observatory is open or closed due to cloudy, rainy, dusty or stormy skies (note that we cannot see stars and planets through clouds, and dust damages the optics of our telescopes!) or call the observatory hotline – there will be a message left by 8 PM explaining whether we are open or closed. Sometimes it clears too late to open, while other times it will cloud-up right before we open. That’s life in the astronomy world. Thus, it is best to always try to do your observing at the beginning of each observing period, and not wait until the last possible week—you may get clouded out, and there is no way to make-up this work.

If you would like to see the cloud coverage heading our way in the next few hours, or learn about the conditions that might close our 3.5 meter telescope up in Sunspot, NM, take a peek at the Apache Point Weather Information Page.

Campus Observatory Schedule

Campus Observatory will be open on the days and times marked below, weather permitting. Bring four worksheets from the back of your lab manual to the observatory!

Astro 110 Campus Observatory is part of the course requirements for Astro 110 students – if you’d like info about Open House nights, when the observatory is open to the public, click here.