Introducing the awe-inspiring Astronomical Observatory!

August 1, 2023

Update: Watch a video of the ribbon-cutting ceremony here…


Jackson College has rescheduled the ribbon-cutting celebration for the Astronomical Observatory until Sept. 11 at 5 p.m.

An Astronomical Observatory with telescope that has been under construction on the campus’s east side for several months is now complete. As an instrument for learning and community enrichment, it will offer a new perspective on the world above, with up-close views of the stars and planets.

About the Telescope

The observatory features a high-powered telescope, the CDK700 made by PlaneWave Instruments of Adrian, with a 700-millimeter aperture. It sits on a 3-foot diameter pier, with brushless motors that allow for rapid, accurate turning of the instrument. The telescope sits inside the observatory building, with a dome that opens and closes to allow viewing. The whole installation has required careful planning and construction, with Sea West Enterprises of California guiding the project along with local contractor, R.W. Mercer.

“It’s a very nice telescope,” said Professor Steven Tuckey, George and Barbara Raven Endowed Chair for Mathematics. “It’s newer and more sophisticated than what you would find on the campuses of any higher education institutions in Michigan.”

The telescope will both enhance the science curriculum at the College while welcoming interested community members. With a renewed interest in space thanks to projects like the James Webb Space Telescope, Jackson College President Daniel J. Phelan saw an opportunity to get more students interested in science and mathematics fields and offer a connection for community.

An observatory pad includes four piers where stargazers may plug in their own telescopes. For the seasoned astronomer or someone simply curious about the cosmos, this state-of-the-art observatory promises something for all. Plans for the facility will include use by students in college courses, non-credit courses, community education (public viewing nights) and interest clubs. The College will seek to hire someone to oversee the observatory and plan activities.

Look for more opportunities to come.

Read more here… Story & video


Something New is Coming to Jackson College! – YouTube


observatory from above with water tower in background observatory with telescope being lowered in and placed observatory with telescope hovering right above dome view of telescope inside observatory view of telescope inside observatory

Astronomical Observatory – Jackson College (