2023 Public Season

The 2023 Public Season is upon us. This year we will be open every Saturday, May through October. If astronomy and the night skies interest you, please join us for an evning of fun and learning.

Activities may 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
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.

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.)

 Covid Announcement

Powell Observatory 2023 Schedule
April 29 4:00 PM Astronomy Day
May 6 8:00 PM Moons of the Solar System
May 13 8:00 PM Comets: Creators and Destroyers 
May 20 8:00 PM Don’t Don’t Look Up 
May 27 8:00 PM Traveling to the Stars 
June 3 8:30 PM Planets You Can See 
June 10 8:30 PM JWST and Hubble Telescopes:  Complementary Views
June 17 8:30 PM The James Webb Telescope 
June 24 8:30 PM Astronomy: Myths and Fallacies 
July 1 8:30 PM Don’t Don’t Look Up 
July 8 8:30 PM Traveling to the Stars 
July 15 8:30 PM Planets You Can See 
July 22 8:30 PM JWST and Hubble Telescopes:  Complementary Views
July 29 8:30 PM A Brief History of Astronomy
Aug 5 8:00 PM Comets: Creators and Destroyers 
Aug 12 8:00 PM Don’t Don’t Look Up 
Aug 19 8:00 PM Traveling to the Stars 
Aug 26 8:00 PM Planets You Can See 
Sep 2 7:30 PM JWST and Hubble Telescopes:  Complementary Views
Sep 9 7:30 PM History of the Space Program  
Sep 16 7:30 PM The Dark Universe: Dark Matter and Dark Energy
Sep 23 7:30 PM Don’t Don’t Look Up 
Sep 30 7:30 PM Upcomming Solar Eclipses
Oct 7 6:30 PM Planets You Can See 
Oct 14 6:30 PM JWST and Hubble Telescopes:  Complementary Views
Oct 21 6:30 PM TBD    
Oct 28 6:30 PM Comets: Creators and Destroyers 

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