Lockwood Park Observatory


FREE! Public Viewing Sessions

Lockwood Park Observatory is open for free public viewing sessions on
the second and fourth Saturday evenings of every month, weather permitting. Summer viewing sessions begin at 7:00 PM or dusk, whichever is later.

When the weather cooperates, the main telescope inside our 14-ft Ashdome gives magnificent views of the moon, planets, and stars. In addition, various other telescopes and binoculars may be set up on the lawn to provide views of a number of celestial objects.

Programs on a variety of topics relating to astronomy and space are also offered in the auditorium. All sessions are conducted by our members, free of charge, and are enjoyable for people of all ages. You are always welcome to attend any of our year-round sessions, but please dress according to the weather — observatories are unheated.


Special Group Viewing Sessions

Lockwood Park Observatory is available for special group astronomy activities for groups such as scout groups, classes, and community service organizations. Because we depend on volunteer observing guides, please allow plenty of time to complete the arrangements. To begin the reservation process, leave a message on the Observatory answering machine 815.964.6457, or e-mail lpo@rockfordamateurastronomers.com. While there is no charge for such sessions, we gladly welcome all donations.


Rockford Amateur Astronomers

The Rockford Amateur Astronomers, Inc. was founded in 1958 with the goal to promote the fascinating hobby of astronomy. We operate the Lockwood Park Observatory in Lockwood Park in cooperation with the Rockford Park District. This facility houses our custom-designed and built 10" Astro-Physics, Inc. refracting telescope, a Piorkowski 10" Coelostat solar telescope, and several portable telescopes of varying designs and sizes. Our varied membership provides support for virtually every field of interest in amateur astronomy. All of our members are also members of the Astronomical League, an umbrella group of amateur astronomers throughout the United States. Our membership ranges from the very young to the well-seasoned astronomer. They enjoy astronomy as active observers as well as armchair astronomers. Their skills range from novice to nationally recognized. All who wish to learn about the sky are welcome.

Member Benefits

  • Use of Lockwood Park Observatory

  • Programs geared to special astronomical interests

  • Astrophotography sessions

  • Exclusive access to dark-sky sites

  • Reduced rates for:

    • Sky & Telescope Magazine

    • Astronomy Magazine

  • Astronomical League membership

    • AL observing clubs

    • AL quarterly newsletter: The Reflector

  • Learning opportunities

Monthly Meetings

Rockford Amateur Astronomers’ meetings are held on the third Wednesday of each month at Lockwood Park Observatory on Rockford’s northwest side. Meetings start at 7:30 pm in the auditorium building. For further information, call 815.964.6457 or e-mail lpo@rockfordamateurastronomers.com with RAA in the subject line.