Operating Hours Update
The Astronomical Observatory is now open! Please check our Facebook page for details.
Due to COVID restrictions, face masks are required and all visitors, including Liberty University students and employees, must register in advance. See registration details below in “Schedule A Visit”.
View the night sky at the Astronomical Observatory located off Sunnymeade Road near the back of the Liberty University Equestrian Center grounds.
Our site offers prime viewing for stargazing with open space and minimal light noise.
The Astronomical Observatory is FREE to all visitors. Advance registration is required. See “Schedule A Visit” below for details.
See the planets, moon, and stars through the largest telescope in the region, a 24-inch DFM Engineering telescope. The telescope sits one story off the ground, giving you a better view of the sky. Or, enjoy a clear and wide field of view with one of our 8-inch Celestron telescopes.
The observatory also houses an instructional lab where you can find more about the constellations and stars before observing them with the telescopes.
Since observing is highly dependent on weather, our operation is determined each afternoon. Before visiting the Observatory, check the LU Astronomical Observatory Facebook page for our operating status.
Directions to the Observatory
From the intersection of University Boulevard and Candlers Mountain Road, drive east on Candlers Mountain 3.3 miles until you stop at the “T” into Sunnymeade Road. Turn left on Sunnymeade and drive 1.5 miles. You will see the white rail fence of the Equestrian Center on your left; turn left onto Traveler Road to enter the Equestrian Center. Please do not use the Lone Jack Road entrance – it will be locked.
Drive slowly (10 mph speed limit) along Traveler for about 0.5 miles, passing horse barns and the equipment shed on the left. If the red gate is open, drive through it and turn right to approach the observatory 200 yards up on the right. (If the gate is not open, we are likely closed.) Watch for pedestrians and parked equipment. It may be very dark, so drive, park, and walk carefully.
Schedule A Visit
The Observatory is open Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights weather permitting.
Before You Visit
Select your date of interest: registration opens at 6 p.m. on the day before your visit and closes at 6:00 p.m. on the day of. Complete the required registration. It will include your name, email address (to receive a confirmation email), the names of each person in your party, and your preferred time slot.
This is a first-come, first-served basis for groups of up to 10 people. Please use only the number of openings you need, as space is limited. If you need to make arrangements for a larger group, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible. Please arrive no more than 10 minutes before your scheduled time.
Check our Facebook page prior to departing to be sure weather allows us to open. We are not able to email you regarding cancellations. If we are closed due to weather, you will have to register again to attend on a new night.
Print your confirmation email so you can show it to a staff member. Follow driving directions above. Google directions will take you to the wrong entrance. Please drive slowly on equestrian center grounds and arrive no more than 10 minutes before your scheduled time.
Thank you for your interest in Liberty’s Observatory. We look forward to showing you the night sky!