Laws Observatory

Laws Observatory, located on top of the Astronomy & Physics building on the UMC Campus in Columbia, Missouri, hosts a number of small telescopes, a computer room and an astronomy exhibit room with a collection of autographed pictures from NASA Mission Control, astronauts, engineers and people connected with NASA. The Observatory is open every Wednesday night from 8 - 10 pm (weather permitting), except holidays.

Comet Holmes Moon with the 14"
Comet Holmes, taken using the 16" Celestron Scmidt Cassagrain in 2007 October (Image Credit: Valentine Germann) A test image of the Moon using the Meade 14" (October 7, 2019)

What's New

12/21/2020: KOMU Channel 8 did a live streaming of the Jupiter-Saturn Conjunction this evening from 5:30 to 6:30pm at the observatory. Valentine Germann, Ronald Boian, Yicheng Guo, and Haojing Yan were on site for the event:

Here are some pictures (the bright dot in the sky is Jupiter/Saturn):

1. Getting ready (Val & Yicheng)                      2. Jupiter/Saturn as seen from the back of the 16"

3. Val during the interview                                  4. Ron during the interview


As the 16" was used for the streaming, no still pictures were taken from it during the event. We do have a picture taken the night before (12/20), as well as one taken by Eric Spurgeon (a CMAA member) using a telescope of similar design on 12/21.

(Jupiter/Saturn taken at the 16" in the evening of December 20, 2020)

(Jupiter/Saturn taken by Eric with his 8" on December 21, 2020)


12/04/2020: Ron Boain gave a great talk about the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction (Kepler's "Fiery Trigon"), which is a 20-year event that can be seen this year on December 21, right after the sunset. Two slides from his talk are put here as the viewing guide. To download, right-click on the images and save.

image 1 image 2

08/24/2020: Due to the pandemic, we will not have the Wednesday Open House in the Fall semester. We hope to resume as soon as the situation is under control.

10/10/2019: We're testing a Meade LX200 14-inch that was donated to us a while ago. Stay tuned!

Moving the 14-inch out of the box for testing (10/07/2019) Meade 14" on its tripod (10/07/2019; Val in the background)

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Laws Observatory at night

Laws Observatory at night

NASA wall of fame

NASA wall of fame