2024 Public Season

We are excited to announce the opening of the 2024 Public Season which will be on Saturday, May 4. Please join us for these fun and educational evenings of star gazing.

Typical public night activies inclulde (subject to weather and staff availability):
  • Solar observing
  • Member telescopes
  • Louisburg Community Telescope
  • Presentation (see topics below)
  • Live imaging with the 30" Ruisinger Telescope
  • Eyepiece viewing with the 30" Ruisinger Telescope and other instruments (subject to weather and availability)
Most activities will be outside with images from the Ruisinger telescope shown remotely on a large screen.

Dress for the outdoors and bring your own lawn chair and/or blanket.
The field has been treated for mosquitoes but there may still be a few around so bring your own repellant if desired.
  • Programs will proceed clear or cloudy.
  • Rain will result in cancellation.
  • Check for the latest updates.

Note that mid-summer programs will run fairly late into the evening due to late sunset times. For those with younger children, please plan accordingly. You may want to consider visiting early or late in the season when darkness begins earlier.

Because the observatory is staffed by volunteers, we request a donation upon entry to help maintain and operate the observatory.

Requested Donation:  13 & Over: $10  |  6-12: $5  |  5 and Under: Free

(We accept cash, check, major credit cards, Apple Pay and Google Pay.)

Powell Observatory 2024 Schedule
May 4 8:00 PM They Only Come Out At Night
May 11 8:00 PM Traveling to Earth 2
May 18 8:00 PM Planets In Our Solar System
May 25 8:00 PM The Lives of Stars
June 1 8:30 PM James Webb Telescope
June 8 8:30 PM Waves Light Up the Universe
June 15 8:30 PM They Only Come Out At Night
June 22 8:30 PM Traveling to Earth 2
June 29 8:30 PM Planets In Our Solar System
July 6 8:30 PM The Lives of Stars
July 13 8:30 PM The History Of the Space Program
July 20 8:30 PM Waves Light Up the Universe
July 27 8:30 PM They Only Come Out At Night
Aug 3 8:00 PM Traveling to Earth 2
Aug 10 8:00 PM Planets In Our Solar System
Aug 17 8:00 PM The Lives of Stars
Aug 24 8:00 PM A Brief History of Astronomy
Aug 31 7:30 PM Waves Light up the Universe
Sep 7 7:30 PM They Only Come Out at Night
Sep 14 7:30 PM Traveling to Earth 2
Sep 21 7:30 PM Planets In Our Solar System
Sep 28 7:30 PM The Lives of Stars
Oct 5 6:30 PM Stellar Evolution
Oct 12 6:30 PM Waves Light Up the Universe
Oct 21 6:30 PM They Only Come Out At Night
Oct 26 6:30 PM A Boo-tiful Night of Mischief and Mayhem

Private Events

The observatory is available for private groups and events year-around, subject to availability of volunteer staff. Please email or call 913.438.3825.  A reservation fee of $100 + $5 per person is required to reserve the observatory for private events. 

About the Observatory

Built in 1985 by society members, the observatory is located about 25 miles South of Kansas City in Lewis-Young Park, just North of Louisburg, KS.  At this location, skies are much darker than in the city.  The observatory has one of the largest telescopes open to the public in a five-state area - the Ruisinger Telescope, a Newtonian reflector with a 30" diameter mirror. The telescope is installed in a 20 foot dome, with an equatorial fork mount and computerized control systems.

Other instruments:

  • Imaging Center with an 11" Schmidt Cassegrain telescope and iOptron mount, housed in a smaller adjacent dome.
  • Louisburg Community Telescope featuring 16" and 12" Newtonian telescopes on Dobsonian mounts, housed in a separate roll-off roof building.
  • Lunt solar telescope with tunable hydrogen-alpha filter and iOptron mount.
Powell Observatory is owned and operated by the Astronomical Society of Kansas City and staffed by volunteer ASKC members.
About Powell Observatory

Directions to Powell Observatory

Take US 69 Highway to the Louisburg exit. Go east on Highway 68 (West Amity) ¾ mile to Broadway. Turn left and proceed 1 mile north to 271st Street. Turn left and proceed ¾ mile west to Jingo Road. Turn right and proceed 7/10 mile north to the entrance to Lewis Young Park. Proceed 3/10 mile west on Melrose past the tractor pull area on your left and around the curve. The observatory is on the left just past the line of trees. Parking is on the north side of the street.

You can also find it on Google Maps by entering the name "Powell Observatory" or just click this link.

The address is:

26500 Melrose Street
Louisburg, KS 66053


No white lights (headlights, flashlights, mobile phones, etc.) are allowed at the observatory.  Red flashlights are allowed.  Please dim your headlights when approaching and leaving the observatory.

Pets shall be maintained on a leash at all times and controlled. No pets, running, or play around telescopes.

We are located in a public park and all park rules must be followed.

Powell Weather Station

Sky Conditions Forecast