Built in 1984 by society members, the Powell observatory is located in Lewis-Young Park, about 25 miles (40 km) south of Kansas City and just north of Louisburg. At this location, skies are much darker than in the city. The observatory is owned and operated by the Astronomical Society of Kansas City and staffed by volunteer ASKC members. The observatory runs regular public programs every weekend from May to October and for special astronomical events. It has one of the largest telescopes open to the public in a 5-state area – the Ruisinger Telescope, a Newtonian reflector with a 30″ diameter mirror (!). In addition, the observatory has other telescopes available for public viewing. A fellow stargazer said: “It’s remote enough from the Kansas City area that the view is great!”
Chelynne Campion is a Production/ Sales Assistant for EarthSky. Her family just purchased a telescope, and she's now learning to be a stargazer!