MINNEAPOLIS, MN - If you are looking for a short road trip away from the Twin Cities, sightseeing the celestial sky from Cherry Grove Observatory is an available destination. Located in Kenyon, Minnesota, it will approximately take 1 hour or so to reach the observatory. The Cherry Grove Observatory is the first "dark sky" observatory of the Minnesota Astronomical Society.
Apart from providing high-tech equipment, the Cherry Grove Observatory, or CGO, has some facilities to support self-starter astronomers. Suppose you are interested in astronomy or an experienced amateur astronomer. In that case, the Cherry Grove Observatory provides spaces and electrical outlets for you to set up your own telescope.
The CGO is a dark-sky site because it offers a barely obstructed view of the sky in a darker sky setting.
The CGO has a roll-off roof observatory. In it, there are sets of telescopes to display the result of astrophotography. One of the telescopes is Mathis Instruments MI-500 equipped with a 12" Meade SCT and a 16" Meade SCT.
For visitors, the 8" Zhumell and the 10" Meade Starfinder are available for on-site loan. You can get your hands on those two scopes to observe the sky.
You are also allowed to unload and your telescopes from your car immediately in the field. However, you will be required to park your vehicle in the designated parking spot. In addition to parking, it is advised to consider minimalizing the light trespass from your car when leaving the premises.
The Cherry Grove Observatory is open 24 hours a day. You can let Vic Heiner, the site manager, know about any inquiries you have at HeinerV@aol.com.
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