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Powell Observatory, Louisburg

#120 of 153 in Museums in Kansas
Specialty Museum · Hidden Gem · Museum
Powell Observatory is an astronomical observatory located near Louisburg in Miami County, Kansas. It features several large telescopes and is available for public viewing, for private use of Astronomical Society of Kansas City members, and for ongoing research projects.

The observatory, located in Lewis-Young Park just north of Louisburg, was built in 1984 by members of the Astronomical Society of Kansas City (ASKC). Its main telescope is a Ruisinger Newtonian reflector, with a single 30-inch (76 cm) objective (mirror), housed in a dome. The observatory also has a 16-inch (41 cm) telescope for public programs, a computer-controlled 12-inch (30 cm) telescope for research projects and member use, and a small conference/lecture room and visitor's center.

Powell Observatory runs regular public programs every weekend from May through October. The telescope is open for public viewing of the night sky; it is one of the largest telescopes in the United States regularly open to the public for this purpose. The observatory is supported by ASKC membership dues, and by private and public donations.

During 2009, Powell Observatory hosted Saturday-night "Starbright" programs that began at dusk and included introductory and advanced lectures on astronomy by ASKC members and guest speakers, a tour of the observatory, and telescope viewing if the skies were clear. On many clear evenings and most weekends, ASKC members set up personal telescopes in Powell's courtyard and are available to give tours of the night sky and to answer questions.

Minor planet 25890 Louisburg is named after the home of this observatory.
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Powell Observatory reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
10 reviews
  • This attraction was completely built with private funds and volunteers. They are really nice people that dutifully staff this attraction every Saturday night, rane or shine. For $8 you can hear a...  more »
  • When available, Powell Observatory is an excellent visit. They hold star parties and open up for meteor showers and other celestial events. The high-powered scope and absence of light pollution make.....  more »
  • Very nice people who all volunteer. Wasn't exactly what i expected but maybe my hopes were to high. Still nice place and very weather permitting. Call ahead and see what the subject is. Differs each week.
  • Staff very friendly. The man talking was very good at his knowledge. He warmed up his computer and was excited to watch the slide show but only talked no slides. It was cloudy that night so did really see much. My grandkids said was good information.

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