We are building a new observatory at our existing club site!
This will help serve our club’s needs as described below. We need your support. Please donate to our club today. Thank you. Read below to see how your donation will help further our club’s service. You can mail your tax-deductible check payable to
Champaign-Urbana Astronomical Society Inc
c/o William M. Staerkel Planetarium
2400 W. Bradley Ave.
Champaign IL 61821
or use the PayPal link just below.
Higher Demand Need
Our current facilities have been overwhelmed at monthly public skywatch events which have attracted over 1,000 people annually. We currently have many additional exceptional telescopes but need a structure to house them permanently. The new building will have space for four telescopes with a clear view of most of the sky and will be ADA accessible.
Advancing us into the modern era of automated “GoTo” telescopes and digital imaging will allow us to show people more and fainter objects. Our current primary telescope in the dome has excellent large optics but no motor drives nor sky coordinate readouts which makes locating and tracking objects difficult.
The mission of CUAS since 1986 is to promote awareness of the dark sky by providing better observing conditions and an accessible place for the public to view the sky. Our facilities are used by the University of Illinois and Parkland College students as well as the general public. We are an affiliate of the Champaign Park District.
We show people their place in the universe and educate the public about objects in the night sky. We promote awareness of the dark sky and light pollution. Our club meetings include guest speakers, planetarium star shows, and current sky events. Our extensive lending library helps members further their knowledge. We are organizing a 2017 total solar eclipse expedition. We help budding astronomers learn how to use their first telescopes and assist with scope repairs. We have numerous public “sidewalk astronomy” observing events taking our telescopes to Homer Lake, Middle Fork Forest Preserve, Market at the Square, Market Place Mall, and numerous city parks.
With these expanded capabilities, club members will be able to participate in astronomical research, such as searching for near-earth asteroids, monitoring lunar crater formation, creating light curves of variable stars, and timing lunar occultations.