Welcome to the Theodor Jacobsen Observatory
The Theodor Jacobsen Observatory is the
second-oldest structure on the campus. Built in 1895, the
Observatory with its 120-year old, 6-inch refracting telescope is
still offering celestial views of the wonders of the Universe.
Here you will find information on opened nights, making reservations,
a history of the telescope, a history of astronomy at the UW, and even
an operating manual for the telescope. Come join us in a tour; there is no charge
to learn about and view the night sky!
Evening Public Shows
- 2014 - TJO Hours: 1st and 3rd Wednesdays only:
- April and September: 8 - 10 pm
- May through August: 9 - 11 pm
- October: 7 - 9 pm
The talk on a given evening starts approximately 5 minutes after opening and takes place in the classroom that adjoins the Observatory. If the sky is clear enough, the dome will be open for viewing celestial objects through the ancient telescope. Reservations are strongly recommended for the talks; no reservations are needed to tour the Observatory and take part in the exhibits, activities, and viewing.
Seattle Astronomical Society members operate the ancient refracting telescope in the dome and can find fascinating treasures of the night sky. Their members are an endless source of information and enthusiasm about astronomy.
Help support our effort to return T. Jacobsen's office to the Astronomy Department
Just a short footnote for now: It appears we were successful in our efforts to get Theodor Jacobsen's office back under the Astronomy Department's jurisdiction. Look for a new area and development of interactive exhibits coming soon!