During the semester, Standeford Observatory is always open to the public on clear nights on Thursday nights. Unfortunately, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Observatory is closed to all visitors at this time.
Normally, the observatory will only close for inclement weather and for the winter months when it's simply gets too cold to be outside at night. Typically, our last Standeford Public Night is the week prior to Thanksgiving in the Fall semester and we re-open the week following Spring Break.
Though our telescope offerings on these Thursday nights aren't as powerful as nearby Standeford Observatory, visiting the observatory between 9-11 PM will give members of the public an opportunity to see the night sky with one of our many facility telescopes. The public is always welcome to join and learn a bit about the sky that night from observatory assistants.
Visitors may call the observatory directly at (507) 389-6208 during evening hours to determine whether the Observatory is open to the public that Thursday. If a group larger than 5 is expected, visitors must call in advance to confirm that such a large crowd can be accomodated by staff on hand that evening.
Observatory visitors are encouraged to walk from campus if possible. Those who must drive to campus may park in the south end of Lot 1 (just south of University Avenue on the West end of campus) and walk to the observatory.
More information about visiting Standeford Observatory can be found on the Campus Observatories page.