University of Oregon



The Observatory is open to the public on Friday and Saturday nights from MEMORIAL DAY weekend through the last weekend in September. Private group and organization tours are available during the week by advance appointment. Mid-week, the observatory staff conducts private tours in conjunction with various amateur astronomers, including several astronomical clubs from around the Pacific Northwest (for more information see Tours & Outreach). The observatory also conducts 1-2 research camps during the summer, bringing astronomers and students from all around the Western U.S. to teach and participate in programs.

In addition to astronomy visitors, the public is able to utilize the adjacent Forest Service campground for a number of recreational activities (for more information see Visiting). Some of these activities include: bird and wildlife watching, mountain biking, hang-gliding, hiking and horseback riding. Schools, scouts and other outdoor programs utilize the area for earth science classes in conjunction with the astronomy programs. On average, the Observatory summer programs provide educational tours of the night skies for 3500-4000 visitors annually.

Pine Mountain Observatory, located 34 miles south and east of Bend, is perched atop a mountain at an elevation of 6300 feet. The observatory’s location is well placed to make the most of the dark skies that the Eastern Oregon high desert provides.

The observatory is operated under the University of Oregon’s Department of Physics under special use permit from the Deschutes National Forest. The observatory’s primary function is research and other astronomical observations, including basic and advanced scientific research.

3 responses to “Info”

  1. Will the observatory be open for viewing the anticipated meteor shower created by the passing of the comet LINEAR? I believe the target date is May 23-24. Do you anticipate a lot of visitors for the event?

  2. The new meteor shower you refer to is expected to peak around midnight our time Friday-Saturday night (May 23-24). Mark is giving some good advice. And, yes, I expect a big crowd if the weather is nice. (But unfortunately, if often isn’t at the start of the season.) By the way, we’ll also try to see the comet itself in the 24-inch telescope around 10:30 p.m. in the western sky. It will be only a few million miles away!

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