Harold E. Taylor Observatory

Harold E Taylor Observatory 

Through the vision of applied physics professor, Harold E. Taylor (1971 - 2001), the observatory was constructed in 1974 as a resource to inform, educate, and inspire our students and members of the community with the ever-changing display of the night sky.  

Image of Harold E. Taylor, Professor of Astrophysics

Dr. Harold E. Taylor, Professor of Physics (1971 - 2001). Photo credit Stockton University Library Archives.

The observatory hosted thousands of celestial viewings for 30 years until it lay dormant due to a broken transducer used to position the telescope. In 2018, physics alumnae, Miriam Saad, initiated a research project with physics professor Dr. Joseph Trout to refurbish the observatory's 1980s computer interface with modern technology.

After Miriam's graduation in 2018, Dr. Trout along with student physicists, Gracie Buondonno, Briena Feltner, Tara Jacobsen, Colleen Lindenau, and Courtney Weber, reassembled the telescope and installed an updated camera and guidance system through two Research Experiences for Undergraduate grants and a donation made in the name of Timothy Stout, a local amateur astronomer.

While working on the telescope, the students learned about the operation and management of the Meade LX-200 computer controlled telescope and will continue to assist Dr. Trout with running the observatory.

In the fall of 2021, the university received a very generous donation which enabled us to purchase a new 17" PLANEWAVE telescope. The telescope was installed July 2022 and is up and operational. It had its first light on August 18. 

Show Your Support

Through the efforts of Dr. Joseph Trout and the student physicists, the observatory reopened to our community, however, there is still more work to be done.

A new 17" PLANEWAVE telescope was purchased and installed this past summer through a generous donation. The old camera and filters from the original telescope are obsolete and in need of replacement. Our goal is to raise money to replace these instruments.

Donations are tax-deductible and part of the Corporate Matching Gifts Program.


Public Observatory Viewings

Our faculty and student physicists will guide visitors through a tour of the night sky. Observatory viewing events will be offered throughout the academic semester. Each viewing night has been chosen based on a featured object for that evening. Attendees should dress according to the weather. 



Questions about the observatory events could be directed to the observatory@stockton.edu or through the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics Dean's Office at 609.652.4546 (Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM).



Observatory photos Photo 1
Observatory photos Photo 2
Observatory photos Photo 3
Observatory photos Photo 4
Observatory photos Photo 5
Observatory photos Photo 6
Observatory photos Photo 7



Upcoming schedule

Before you head out to the observatory, please look up at the night's sky. If there is cloud coverage, the viewing night will need to be cancelled. We cannot always send cancellation notices. Please check the the website before you head out to the observatory for cancellations.

Please note: Only service animals are allowed.

Thursday, November 30 | 7:00 - 9:00 PM

Wednesday, December 6 | 7:00 - 9:00 PM Cancelled due to clouds and rain showers. 




Due to the popularity of the reopening, we are expecting larger than normal crowds. We ask that visitors make a reservation through the booking system. The reservation system is set at the lowest time interval in order for us book a larger number of visitors.

Please choose a reservation in 5-minute intervals. One reservation can be used for up to four visitors. Each visitor will have ample time at the telescope. 

Once your reservation is made, you will receive a confirmation email. Please keep this email to manage your reservation should you need to cancel or change your reservation. Cick on the 'Manage Reservation' button on the bottom of the email to make a modification.



Official Observatory Merchandise Ad