Astronomy at Hotchkiss

With some of the best skies for miles around there is lots of good astronomy happening at Hotchkiss.  Both our general elective and observational astronomy research courses make use of the 20" reflecting telescope in the Hotchkiss Observatory where we can gaze at the planets and deep sky objects through an eyepiece or gather scientific data with our cooled-ccd camera.


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.

We a great turnout and great weather. Hope to see you next time!

The Hotchkiss School and the Hotchkiss Astronomy Club present the

2018 Fall Star Party

Saturday, November 10*

(Rain Date, November 11)

8:00 - 9:45 PM

Visit the Hotchkiss Observatory, look through our telescopes, enjoy a constellation tour.
Admission is free and open to the public.

*The event will be postponed for cloudy/rainy weather.  Check back for updates.


More Info


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