Holcomb Observatory & Planetarium
Holcomb Observatory and Planetarium has been serving Butler University students and Central Indiana for over 60 years. The observatory, one of the largest public observatories in the world, houses a 38-inch Cassegrain reflector in addition to a number of smaller telescopes, along with a fully immersive digital planetarium. It is among the ten largest telescopes East of the Mississippi River. The observatory can be visited during our regular public tours, or groups can schedule group tours at other times.
From 2015 through 2019, the facilities at the observatory underwent major upgrades. The telescope had a $425,000 refurbishment done by Astronomical Consultants and Equipment to greatly improve its optics, operation, and research ability. The planetarium underwent a complete overhaul of $200,000 with the help of Indianapolis-based Bowen Technovation and is now a fully digital, immersive fulldome theater. These upgrades have greatly enhanced the visitor experience.
Now Showing: From Earth to the Universe
Light up the cold winter nights with familiar stars and constellations during our Friday and Saturday public nights! Our fulldome feature show, From Earth to the Universe, takes you on a journey from the Earth out to the colorful birthplaces and burial grounds of stars, and then goes beyond the Milky Way to myriad galaxies. Along the way learn about the history of astronomy, the invention of the telescope, and today’s giant telescopes that allow us continue to probe ever deeper into the universe. Each evening will also feature viewing through Indiana's largest telescope. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for up-to-date information on the sky, dates, and times.
Visit the Observatory and Planetarium
You can explore the cosmos at Holcomb Observatory and Planetarium rain or shine. Watch a fulldome immersive feature planetarium program, then travel through our Galaxy, learn stories about the stars and constellations in our night sky, and then look through Indiana's largest telescope (weather permitting). Visit us on our Weekend Public Tours that are available most Friday and Saturday evenings (see our schedule). Or, if weekends don't work, you can schedule a Group Tour during other selected times.