Campus Observatories

Andreas Observatory


Andreas Observatory — named for Lowell and Nadine Andreas of Mankato, MN — was established in 1990 to provide the MSU astronomy program with a modern observing facility. This observatory has three basic functions:

  • To train students majoring in astronomy in the use of a modern telescope.
  • To provide a telescope capable of supporting student and faculty research projects.
  • To offer opportunities to the public for viewing the night skies through a research-quality telescope.

Location 

Andreas Observatory is located on the southern edge of the MSU campus approximately 550 yards beyond the Lot #1 gate -- about 150 yards east of Standeford Observatory.

Maps to Andreas and Standeford Observatories

Coordinates of Andreas Observatory:

  • Longitude: 93o 59' 49" West
  • Latitude: 44o 08' 18" North
  • Elevation: 990 feet

Equipment and Facilities

Telescopes 

The principal telescope at Andreas Observatory is a 0.5-meter (20-inch), f/13.5 Cassegrain telescope, manufactured by DFM Engineering, Inc. of Longmont, Colorado. This computer-controlled telescope has several hundred pre-programmed objects available for easy access during public viewing sessions.The smaller black scope mounted on the side of the main telescope is the DFM finder scope (a 5-inch, f/9 refractor), which has a wider field of view and is useful in pointing and aligning the main telescope.

Mounted piggyback underneath the main telescope is a Takahashi BRC-250M – a 10-inch, f/5 Baker Ritchey-Chretien telescope that offers wide-field visual and photographic images of the sky.

Instrumentation

Instrumentation at Andreas Observatory includes two SBIG CCD cameras, an SBIG spectrometer, photographic cameras and photometers. 

Observatory Building

The main telescope is housed in an 18.5-foot Ash-Dome; the attached observatory building includes a control room, presentation room, work room, and storage areas.

Public Events

Open House

Public Events at the Andreas Observatory are held periodically throughout the semester.   See the Calendar on the Astronomy homepage for upcoming chances to stop by and observe with us!

Group Tours

Groups wishing to arrange tours of Andreas Observatory should contact Dr. Paul Eskridge at (507) 389-1840. 

Special Events

Special public viewing events at Andreas Observatory are held occasionally during the year, often in conjunction with Standeford Observatory. Targets of these events in the past have included Comet Hale-Bopp, Comet Hyakutake, the Moon, various planets, and other interesting celestial objects. 

Parking

Parking for public viewing sessions is usually available in the south end of Lot 1. Visitors will generally need to walk the last few hundred yards to reach the observatory.

A sign on the gate at the south end of Lot 1 will indicate whether Andreas Observatory is open to the public.

Sky Conditions at Andreas Observatory