Friday and Saturday Public Viewing
Public viewing is on hiatus between semesters.
Summer viewing will start in mid-June.
Every Friday and Saturday while UT is in session, the Department of Astronomy hosts free viewing on the Painter Hall Telescope. Both Friday and Saturday nights are now open to the general public. Painter Hall is located at the corner of 24th street and Inner Campus Drive, just to the north of the UT Tower.
To get to the telescope, take the elevator to the 5th floor and exit to the left. Follow the 5th floor hallway to the end and take the stair case through the double doors on the left. Once you reach the 6th floor, go to your right and follow the signs up to the telescope.
Click here for map to Painter Hall and nearby parking garages. All ages are welcome, but we ask that younger children be under adult supervision at all times. Viewing times change throughout the year, so please check this page or call 512-471-5007 for current times. Please call 512-232-4265 for weather cancellation information. (This line is updated approximately 30-45 minutes before the scheduled start time if the viewing is cancelled.)
History of the 9-inch telescope
The 9-inch telescope has a long history with the University. The lens in the telescope is actually older than the tube, mount and dome and was ground a little before the turn of the 20th century by the John A. Brashear company -- one of the finest lens makers of the time. The tube and mount were made by the Warner and Swasey Company of Cleveland and was placed in Painter Hall when the building was constructed in the early 1930s. The dome appears green from the outside because of its high copper content, which oxidizes to a patina similar to the color seen on the Statue of Liberty. The inside has been painted but in areas where the paint has chipped, the brilliant original copper can be glimpsed. Unlike most modern telescopes, no electricity is required to operate the clock drive on the telescope. Instead, the drive is wound up to raise a weight which will drop throughout the evening and turn the drive gears.