Moraine Valley Community College || Nature Study Area and Observatory


The stars are shining a bit brighter on the Moraine Valley campus since the college's observatory opened in 2003.

The observatory, located in the Nature Study Area, features a 6 ½ -foot Newtonian reflecting telescope, which was built and donated by Tom McCague, retired Moraine Valley professor. The telescope is made of common hardware store items, such as plywood, Teflon, PVC pipe, and glass. For this reason, it is also considered a Dobsonian-style telescope, named for John Dobson, a renowned amateur astronomer known for his inexpensive ways of building telescopes.

The telescope is housed in a dome on the G. Jack Bradley Observation Deck. The remote area is equipped with motion-detection lights that can be controlled during observation and monitored by security cameras. The telescope is used as a teaching tool, not only for Moraine Valley, but local schools and community groups as well. Only trained personnel are allowed to utilize the telescope. Request a field trip.

The college hosts monthly open viewing nights for the public during the spring, summer and fall.

Telescope Viewings