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Curtis Vaughan Jr. Observatory

Location: Flawn Science Building, 4th floor   |   Phone: (210) 458-5731
Click here for information about events at the observatory.


 

History

The observatory is named in honor of Mr. Curtis Torrey Vaughan Jr., longtime successful businessman, philanthropist, and local amateur astronomer in the San Antonio area. As a result of his interest in astronomy, he was involved for many years with the McDonald Observatory located in Fort Davis, Texas and served as Chairman of the McDonald Observatory Board of Visitors.

The telescope in our observatory once belonged to Mr. Vaughan. It is a research grade 16" Meade LX200 Advanced Coma Free telescope that was donated to UTSA for scientific research for physics and astronomy students. Currently, it is being used in tracking asteroids and minor orbiting bodies within our solar system for orbital tracking.

Open Observatory Nights

The observatory hosts First Friday Stargazing beginning at sunset every first Friday of the month (weather permitting) and Friday Nights Celestial Lights, which occurs every third Friday of the month during the Spring and Fall semesters when school is in session.

Additionally, the observatory is now open every Wednesday evening beginning at sunset throughout the year (weather permitting) to all current UTSA students who wish to learn more about astronomy, discover how to operate a telescope, or need help with an astronomy class assignment.

The Telescopes

A complete overhaul of the facilty began in early 2015 with the goal of increasing public outreach to the community, as well as creating a top-tier astronomical research station for astronomy related science. The observatory has a wide variety of telescopes available for use in both public outreach and for astronomical research.

       

The following telescopes are used at the observatory:
 » 16-inch Meade LX200 Advanced Coma Free Telescope
 » 16-inch Meade LX200 GPS Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescope
 » 15-inch Obsession Newtonian Reflector Telescope
 » Two 8-inch Meade LX200 Advanced Coma Free Telescopes
 » 16-inch Meade DS-16 Newtonian Reflector
 » 10-inch Orion XT10 Newtonian Reflector
 » Lunt Calcium-K Solar Telescope
 » Lunt Hydrogen Alpha Solar Telescope