Harold E. Taylor Observatory

Image of the Harold E. Taylor Observatory at Stockton University 

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

Image of 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.

Since the reopening on November 6, 2019, the group has been focusing their efforts on fundraising for the purchase of a new, modern telescope.

Show Your Support

Through the efforts of Dr. Joseph Trout and the student physicists, the computer interface for the telescope was reconditioned allowing the observatory to reopen to our community, however, there is still more work to be done.

The structure itself is 45 years old and in need of repair or replacement. Our goal is to raise money for the replacement of both the telescope and the structure so we could continue to educate our students and community. Would you give today?

Tax deductible and part of the Corporate Matching Gifts Program.

Donate Now


Public Observatory Viewings

Dr. Joseph Trout and our student physicists will guide visitors through a tour of the night sky with the Meade LX-200 computer controlled telescope. Observatory viewing events are offered twice a month during each academic semester. Each viewing night has been chosen based on a featured object for that evening. Attendees should dress according to the weather. 

Due to the popularity of the reopening, we are expecting larger than normal crowds. To organize your trip, it is suggested you book a reservation for your preferred viewing time. One reservation may use for groups of four. Once all the slots are full, the date will no longer appear open.

Once you make a reservation, you will receive a confirmation email. Please keep this email as you will need to use to manage your reservation. If you need to cancel or change your reservation, click on the 'Manage Reservation' button on the bottom of the email. You will be provided options to cancel or change reservation.

Upcoming schedule:

Exciting news for the observatory!

The observatory will be down for a short time as we remove the old, 1980's Meade that had been refurbished in 2019 to make way for a new 17" PLANEWAVE telescope ! 🔭 that was purchased through a generous donor.

A new observing schedule will be posted as soon as the observatory is operational. 



Observatory Images 2 Photo 1
Observatory Images 2 Photo 2
Observatory Images 2 Photo 3
Observatory Images 2 Photo 4
Observatory Images 2 Photo 5
Observatory Images 2 Photo 6
Observatory Images 2 Photo 7
Pluto and three moons 10/7/21. Photo credit: Amana Haider

Saturn 10/7/21. Photo credit: Amana Haider

Saturn 10/7/21. Photo credit: Amana Haider

Pluto 10/7/21. Photo credit: Amana Haider

Pluto 10/7/21. Photo credit: Amana Haider

Surface of the moon.

Surface of the moon.

Surface of the moon.

Surface of the moon.

Surface of the moon.

Surface of the moon.



Questions about the observatory operation or events could be directed to the observatory@stockton.edu or the NAMS Admistration Office 609.652.4546 (M-F 8:00 - 5:00).