Astronomy at Hotchkiss

Students enrolled the Observational Astronomy elective learn to obtain images from the telescope and reduce and analyze resulting data. Typical projects include variable star monitoring and exo-planet observations.


Mercury Transits the Sun

On May 9th, 2016 the Hotchkiss community had the opportunity to see the planet Mercury passing directly between the Earth and Sun.

We had mostly good weather over the course of the seven and a half hour transit and many people had the chance to view the transit through our 10" Meade SCT with a neutral density or "white light" filter and out Lunt hydrogen-alpha solar telescope. Astronomy student Isabel Tyree '17 captured and processed the beautiful image below.

Astronomy Club

The Astronomy Club is a student-run organization that operates the observatory and our small fleet of telescopes for the Hotchkiss Community. We will plan a star party each spring and fall for the surrounding community. The Club has also raised money to purchase, modify and donate small telescopes for local libraries to increase public access to the beauty of the night sky.


The Hotchkiss Observatory uses a variety of equipment to observe the sky.

Telescope PlaneWave CDK20
Mount Software Bisque MEII
Camera SBIG STX-16803
Filters Astrodon UBVRI and LRGB
Software The Sky X
Dome Ash Manufacturing - REB 14.5