Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Chamberlin Observatory and Observatory Park

The Chamberlin Observatory is an astronomical observatory located in Observatory Park near the DU campus in southern Denver. Construction began in 1890 and the telescope there saw first light in 1894.

Chamberlin Observatory was designed by DU's first astronomy professor, Herbert Howe. It is modeled after the Carleton College Goodsell Observatory in Northfield, Minnesota. The creation of the astronomy program under Professor Howe, and the construction of the Chamberlin Observatory, were important first steps in solidifying an astronomy program that has run continuously since 1880.

The Observatory sits in a public park south of the DU campus. It was built with a large donation to DU from Humphrey B. Chamberlin. The park is nicely maintained (like most Denver city parks) and sees a lot of use from the surrounding neighborhood, especially the college students who occupy most of the nearby rentals.

There is also a little mini observatory in the park. I wasn't able to find out anything about the little guy, but it's neat nonetheless.

Getting There By Bike...

The park and the observatory front on Iliff St. I commute through the DU neighborhood on the way to and from work and Iliff, though not technically a bike boulevard or bike lane, has been my preferred route ever since school got back in. Asbury, the street I was using all summer long, passes right through the main common area of DU. Now that the students are back in town Asbury has proven to be a bit of a hassle since its typically covered with erratic drivers and students wandering blithely through traffic. Iliff, though it has slightly more cars, is just as direct and has fewer stop signs and wandering students.

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