Eagle Lake Observatory
Carver County Baylor Regional Park
10775 County Road 33, Norwood-Young America, MN
Altitude: 1,000 feet
The Eagle Lake Observatory is the main public outreach facility for the MAS.
The site consists of the Onan Observatory, the Sylvia A. Casby Observatory, and the HotSpot Classroom. The Sylvia A. Casby Observatory and the HotSpot Classroom became operational in the 2013 observing season and accompany the existing Onan Observatory which held its first public star party on April 28, 2000.
The Onan Observatory houses more than a dozen telescopes on four observing platforms. The observatory is open to the public and MAS members at scheduled times during the year. Public star parties are all-weather events, assuring the observatory will be open to visitors.
If you want to know more, read ‘’How the Onan Observatory Came About“.
Sylvia A. Casby Observatory
The Sylvia A. Casby Observatory houses an 8″ TMB design refractor, a Takahashi Mewlon 300 Dall-Kirkham, and a SV102 refractor. These telescopes are set on an Astro Physics 3600 GTO mount, under a 12.5 foot Ash-Dome. Each observatory has the capability to display live video images of what the telescopes are viewing. These images are shown on monitors in each observatory as well as in the HotSpot Classroom.
The HotSpot Classroom provides a much needed building to conduct our presentations as well as a warming room for our guests to relax and enjoy live video feeds from the observatory’s telescopes throughout the night.
Featured Special Events
All Upcoming Events
The observatory is located within Baylor Regional Park, which includes campgrounds, picnic shelter, restrooms, and other facilities.
Access is via the main entrance to the park from County Road 33, approximately 3.5 miles north of Norwood Young America. Continue straight on the access road until you reach a large gravel parking lot.
The observatory is to the north of parking lot, up on top of the hill.
The vast majority of the equipment at the observatory has been due to the generosity of our Anonymous Benefactor. With these donations over the past several years, the MAS can claim to have one of the premier public observing facilities anywhere in the United States, if not the world. There is no other all-volunteer public observing facility with a similar range of capabilities.
Come out to an upcoming event at the Eagle Lake Observatory and prepare to be astounded by the glories of our universe!
This telescope platform is primarily for visual use. All telescopes are equipped with interchangeable eyepieces for MAS members and guests to see firsthand celestial wonders of the sky. The largest scope on this platform is a Celestron C-14, with more than 2,500 times the light gathering capability of the unaided eye and a minimum of 100 power. This is an excellent scope for deep sky objects as well as planetary viewing. Our largest refracting telescope at the observatory is also on this platform.
With a similar array of telescopes as the visual platform, the imaging platform of telescopes is equipped with a variety of cameras that allow images to be projected onto the monitors in the observatory. The sensitive cameras give a more detailed look at objects and can be viewed by a large audience at once. The largest scope on this platform is another Celestron C-14. This scope is equipped with a Astrovid StellaCam3 and utilizes the Fastar capability of the scope. The Takahashi TOA-130 has a Mallincam HD camera and a 2.5x or 5x Powermate attached.
This provides higher powered views of the sun, planets, and moon. For wide field views, we have a Takahashi FSQ-106N equipped with a StellaCam II. Another scope, a Tele Vue-76, is equipped with a Coronado H-Alpha solar filter for both visual and imaging capability.
Meade LX200 Platform
A computer-controlled Meade 16″ LX200GPS f/10 Schmidt-Cassegrain is the longest focal length scope at Onan. This scope allows the highest potential magnification of any scope on site. The scope is sitting atop a massive concrete pier that was originally designed for the 1,000 pound Larson Telescope.** The 16” LX200 provides excellent views of both deep sky and planetary objects. Sitting on top of the LX200 is a Tele Vue NP101 telescope.
This is an exceptional scope with low power, and wide field of view for large clusters of stars. This platform is also equipped with a Meade ETX 125. This scope is dedicated to imaging, having both a StellaCam II as well as a PlanetCam. The images are displayed on a small monitor attached to the fork arm of the LX200. This allows guests waiting in line to see what is being shown through the eyepiece of the telescopes.
**The Larson Telescope was donated to the city of Eden Prairie in 2006, where it is being used today at the new Staring Lake Observatory.
Donated to the MAS in 2008, this ”truss tube” Dobsonian-style reflecting telescope has a 20″ primary mirror, making it the largest telescope at the observatory in terms of light gathering ability! Thanks to Father Eugene Brown for his generosity!
This telescope can provide breathtaking views of many deep sky objects. The scope is equipped with the Argo Navis & StellarCat systems that drive the scope and give it the go-to capability of the rest of our platforms.
Sylvia A. Casby Observatory Telescopes
The new Sylvia A. Casby Observatory houses an 8″ TMB design refractor, a Takahashi Mewlon 300 Dall-Kirkham, and a SV102 refractor. These telescopes are set on an Astro Physics 3600 GTO mount, under a 12.5 foot Ash-Dome. As with the Imaging platform of telescopes in the Onan Observatory, cameras will allow live images to be displayed on the monitors in the observatory as well as into the HotSpot Classroom. These sensitive cameras give a more detailed look at objects and can be viewed by a large audience at once.
The 8″ TMB is the largest refracting telescope at the Eagle Lake Observatory. The Takahashi Mewlon 300 is arguably the best reflecting telescope on site as well. Each of these telescopes will provide exceptional views of the stars and planets.
Also on the SA Casby observing platform, a Lunt 152 solar scope. This scope, in addition to the Herschel Wedge for solar observing, makes this one of the best solar observing platforms available.
In addition to the main telescope platforms mentioned above, Onan Observatory also has portable equipment for MAS members and guests to use, which include: A Coronado PST solar viewing telescope, Coronado binoculars equipped with white light solar filters, and 15 x 80 binoculars on a parallelogram mount for the ultimate wide field experience.
If you have a question about the observatory that’s not answered here, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave a message for the Minnesota Astronomical Society at 952-467-2426. Thank you for your interest in the MAS and the Eagle Lake Observatory. We hope you can visit us soon.