Washburne Observatory

1401 Observatory Dr.     Built 1878-81     National Register of Historic Places     David R. Jones
15.6-inch lens
The observatory was a gift from former Gov. Cadwallader Washburn, who stipulated that the telescope had to be larger than Harvard University's 15-inch instrument. Over the years, the Washburn Observatory was a means for important discoveries. One amateur researcher used it to judge the weight and size of stars in the 1920s. Later, a UW researcher determined the size of the Milky Way galaxy and judged the sun's location within it. Modern astronomers still use those calculations.


Other Observatory Hill Landmarks

Office/Old Presidents House, Student Observatory, Magnetic Observatory