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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Observing Program

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Observing at Minnesota State University, Mankato

Campus Observatories

Andreas Observatory
Andreas Observatory

The Department of Physics and Astronomy operates two observatories on the southern edge of campus. Andreas Observatory and Standeford Observatory form the foundation of the department's observing program, which serves a variety of students and visitors.

Student Observing

Students in a number of Astronomy and Earth Science courses make use of the observatories on a regular basis:

  • Students in AST 101, AST 102, AST 115, GEOL 305, and GEOL 310 visit Standeford Observatory to obtain telescopic views of celestial objects they learn about in class. Observing these objects in person provides a different perspective from that obtained in lecture or by reading textbooks.

  • Students in AST 125 (Observational Astronomy) learn how to locate objects in the sky using the telescopes at Standeford Observatory. Those who become especially proficient may subsequently be employed there as observing assistants.

  • Students in the upper-level observing courses are usually astronomy minors, who learn to use the observing equipment at Andreas Observatory as part of their professional training.

Standeford Observatory
Standeford Observatory

Other MSU students – as well as faculty and staff – are welcome to visit Standeford Observatory any time during the regular hours of operation. Students are encouraged to bring their friends.

Public Observing

Observatory Hours

Standeford Observatory and Andreas Observatory are open regularly during the fall and spring observing seasons. Hours and days of operation vary with the season, the weather, and demand.

Sky Conditions at the Observatories