Kenyon College's

Miller Observatory

at the Brown Family

Environmental Center

Latitude: 40 23 00 N

Longitude: 82 24 20 W

Elevation : 323 m

With many thanks to A. Danko, A. Rahill, and the Canadian Meteorological Center, we have our own Clear Sky Chart to help us spot clear, dark nights:

satellite images from
extended forecast from

Miller Observatory, overview:

Originally constructed in the fall of 1993, Kenyon's Miller Observatory was relocated in November, 2004, to a dark-sky site on property owned by the Brown Family Environmental Center at Kenyon College.  Atop a hill just outside Gambier to the northwest, the relocated observatory enjoys clear, low horizons from the northeast through the southwest, as well as moderately low horizons to the west and north.  At an elevation of about 1060 ft, the Observatory is above the ground fog level on most summer nights (unlike at its previous location), providing better access to clear summer skies for student observing projects.  Coincident with the move, the Observatory acquired a new Paramount ME robotic telescope drive system, restoring computer pointing ability to the Celestron C-14 optical tube assembly and improving telescope tracking performance for astrophotography and CCD astronomy.  Equipped with two SBIG CCD cameras, one for imaging with an Optec electronic focuser and filter wheel and SBIG AO-7 closed-loop guiding system and one for spectroscopy with an SBIG SGS slit spectrometer, physics students have pursued projects including nebula imaging, asteroid and variable star light curves, and photometric studies of atmospheric extinction at the Observatory.  In August, 2012, the telescope was upgraded to a 20-inch RCOS reflector plus Takahashi refractor for wide-field imaging.  Students in introductory astronomy courses use a set of 8-inch Celestron telescopes to doing lab exercises throughout the semester, and visitors to the observatory enjoy telescopic views of sights ranging from the Moon and bright planets such as Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn to distant star clusters and gaseous nebulae.  The observatory is open to the public, free of charge, on the last Friday of every month, weather permitting.  Open house times are 8 PM to 10 PM EST, 9 PM to 11 PM EDT.  Private groups may also request to schedule observatory sessions by contacting observatory director Paula Turner in the Department of Physics, 427-5367.





  • Virtual tour of Miller Observatory
  • Intro astronomy courses and labs using Miller Observatory
  • Open house activities at Miller Observatory
  • Observational projects from Miller Observatory


Some web resources



Links to Kenyon astronomy course webpages, CUREA program, Physics Dept home page, and Kenyon home page:
Phys 107  Phys 106Kenyon PhysicsKenyon homepage