Lockwood Park Observatory
FREE! Public Viewing Sessions
Lockwood Park Observatory is open for free public viewing sessions on
the second and fourth Saturday evenings of every month. Summer viewing
sessions begin at dusk, and viewing sessions during the rest of the year begin
at 7:00 pm. When the weather cooperates, the main telescope inside our 14-ft
Ashdome gives magnificent views of the moon, planets, and stars. In addition,
various other telescopes and binoculars may be set up on the lawn to provide
views of a number of celestial objects. Programs on a variety of topics relating
to astronomy and space are also offered in the auditorium. All sessions are
conducted by our members, free of charge, and are enjoyable for people of all
ages. You are always welcome to attend any of our year-round sessions, but
please dress according to the weather — observatories are unheated.
Special Group Viewing Sessions
Lockwood Park Observatory is available for special group astronomy activities for groups such as scout groups, classes, and community service organizations. Because we depend on volunteer observing guides, please allow plenty of time to complete the arrangements. To begin the reservation process, leave a message on the Observatory answering machine 815.964.6457, or e-mail email@example.com. While there is no charge for such sessions, we gladly welcome all donations.
Rockford Amateur Astronomers
The Rockford Amateur Astronomers, Inc. was founded in 1958 with the goal to promote the fascinating hobby of astronomy. We operate the Lockwood Park Observatory in Lockwood Park in cooperation with the Rockford Park District. This facility houses our custom-designed and built 10" Astro-Physics, Inc. refracting telescope, a Piorkowski 10" Coelostat solar telescope, and several portable telescopes of varying designs and sizes. Our varied membership provides support for virtually every field of interest in amateur astronomy. All of our members are also members of the Astronomical League, an umbrella group of amateur astronomers throughout the United States. Our membership ranges from the very young to the well-seasoned astronomer. They enjoy astronomy as active observers as well as armchair astronomers. Their skills range from novice to nationally recognized. All who wish to learn about the sky are welcome.
- Use of Lockwood Park Observatory
- Programs geared to special astronomical interests
- Astrophotography sessions
- Exclusive access to dark-sky sites
- Reduced rates for:
- Sky & Telescope Magazine
- Astronomy Magazine
- Astronomical League membership
- AL observing clubs
- AL quarterly newsletter: The Reflector
- Learning opportunities
Rockford Amateur Astronomers’ meetings are held on the third Wednesday of each month at Lockwood Park Observatory on Rockford’s northwest side. Meetings start at 7:30 pm in the auditorium building. For further information, call 815.964.6457 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with RAA in the subject line.