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: Dawn of the Space Age
In honor of the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11—the first manned mission to the surface of the Moon—this summer, Holcomb Observatory and Planetarium will be showing the full dome planetarium feature Dawn of the Space Age during our regular Friday and Saturday weekend tours. Relive the history of the space age from Sputnik to Apollo to the International Space Station. Each evening will also feature viewing through Indiana's largest telescope. Follow us on Facebook 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.