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Nicholas R. Anderson Observatory

Guests looking through the telescope during and open house.

The primary telescope is currently down waiting for the motor to be repaired. I will update the site once we know how long the repairs will take. Thank you for your patience!

Open Houses

Public Open Houses will be held on Friday evenings when classes are in session during the Fall and Spring Semesters, weather permitting. The docent(s) conducting the Open House will use the telescope to show various interesting objects visible in the night sky (the Moon, if visible, any visible planets, interesting stellar objects, nebulae, galaxies, any bright comets,...).

To find out if a particular Open House will occur go to http://www.astroclub.org.vt.edu/. The announcement concerning the open house will be in the marquee at the top of the page.

Location and Directions

The Observatory is located 10 minutes from campus off of Prices Fork Road.

The Observatory as seen from the entrance to the field.

Directions

To get to the Anderson Observatory from within Blacksburg:

  1. Travel west on Prices Fork Road, past the 460 bypass, towards Radford. 
  2. Pass the Hethwood area, Hethwood Shopping Center, Fire Station, and Kipps Elementary School (in that order)
  3. Take the next right on Old Mill Road (just before Cox's Driving Range and the Blacksburg town line). 
  4. Travel about 1/2 mile on Old Mill Road.
  5. Come to a gate on the right, beyond which The Observatory can be seen. It looks like a short silo. 
  6. Please close the gate after driving through --- the area surrounding the Observatory is a Tech livestock pasture.

Observing Forecast

The darker the square, the better the viewing conditions. Click the image for more instructions on how to read the chart.