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Northmoor Observatory

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Northmoor Observatory

PO Box 10111

Peoria, Illinois 61612


(See Map and Directions below)


Type: Sports & Recreation

Illinois Tourism District: Western

Go to Illinois Adventure #1708 information


Northmoor Observatory is located within the city of Peoria at the Leo Donovan Golf Course, and houses a 9 inch refractor telescope.

The telescope was one of two built in 1913 for the Illinois Watch Company of Springfield, Illinois. The nine-inch flint-forward lens was ground by Petitdidier, the same optician who ground lenses for Dr. A.A. Michelson's famous experiment to determine the speed of light. The telescope body was manufactured by Gaertner Scientific of Chicago, Illinois.

The telescope was purchased by Bradley University, but put away and never used. It was later "rediscovered" sitting under bleachers in Huff Gym in the old Field House on the Bradley campus. In 1955, it was reassembled at the Northmoor site where it still stands. The observatory underwent a major renovation in 2009, and a new rotating dome was installed in place of the original rusted dome.

Northmoor Observatory is open to the public every cloudless Saturday night from the beginning of May through the end of October. You will find volunteers on hand to aid you in your discovery of the cosmos, from sunset until midnight. Private groups can also be scheduled any other time. Contact the Northmoor Observatory chairman for more information.


Map and Directions (click on map pointer to calculate directions)


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