Great Basin Astronomical Observatory

Great Basin Observatory logo

As anyone that has attended an astronomy program or camped overnight at Great Basin National Park can tell you - the skies at night are dark - in fact, they are some of the darkest skies in United States. Those dark skies present a special location for an astronomical observatory. In addition to the dark skies, Great Basin's night skies are extremely stable and transparent, two equally important factors for astronomical viewing.

In a unique partnership, Great Basin National Park, University of Nevada Reno, Western Nevada College, and the Great Basin National Park Foundation are proposing building a research-class astronomical observatory. This remotely operated astronomical observatory will bring world-class, novel astrophysical research to not only university based research teams, but to high school to elementary age students alike, encouraging the scientist of tomorrow.

The Great Basin Observatory plans to use a 0.7 meter telescope with the highest quality CCD imagers to have the ability to conduct research into extra-solar planetary detection, variable star measurements, comet and asteroid detection, supernova studies, and other astronomical and rapid transient events. Using other systems of the observatory, non-astronomy based research can be envisioned, such as weather research using the observatories 24 hours a day weather cameras.

The Great Basin Observatory will not only be for scientific research, many education and outreach functions extensions are planned. Visitors to the park (and online) will be able to view imagery from our main and secondary telescopes, attend a ranger talk, or view the live cameras from inside and outside the observatory.

Want to be a part of this ambitious project and help us shoot for the stars or donate? Get more details at the Great Basin Observatory website.