Highland Road Park Observatory
The Highland Road Park Observatory, brought to the public by BREC, LSU's Department of Physics and Astronomy and the Baton Rouge Astronomical Society, is located on the south side of BREC's Highland Road Park. The observatory houses a state-of-the-art 20-inch reflecting telescope, which has been used to discover over 50 asteroids, and an all accessible 16-inch reflecting telescope.
Under the guidance of HRPO Education Curator Amy Brouillette, Cadets are brought into the wonderful world of astronomy-at their level! They have an exciting chance each Saturday to explore gravity, simple machines, stars, spacecraft, meteors, the Earth and the Moon, asteroids and comets, the electromagnetic spectrum and the American space program. During the entertaining visual presentation, Cadets take part in hands-on demonstrations, crafts and experiments! Each session is stand-alone, and kids never have to make a commitment to attend consecutive sessions.
The observatory is proud to continue its long-running, free Lecture Series focusing on astronomy and its peripherals. With a variety of presenters, this series gives stunning and entertaining overviews of the planets and stars, stargazing techniques, physics, NASA missions, space technology and other divisions of the science that is truly universal.
Two nights a week, the professional telescopes at the observatory are unlocked (weather permitting) to showcase the Baton Rouge sky in all its glory. Friday nights are reserved for the adult crowd, including those who just experienced our lecture series, and want to see perhaps some of the principles heard put into practice. Saturday night is family night with children of all ages experiencing the moon, planets, stellar clusters and nebulae. A marshmallow roast and small demonstrations introducing families to Science Academy take place simultaneously.
Our parent star takes the stage during this time. Visitors are able to see, with their own eyes, any sizable sunspots or flares occuring. Free literature on solar power and UV proctection and free (while supplies last) sunscreen are available.
The observatory often opens its doors for celestial events such as eclipses or meteor showers. Groups are invited to schedule a field trip or inquire about our other events, camps and programs. For more information about programs and events, contact Highland Road Park Observatory, 13800 Highland Road, at 225-768-9948, visit hrpo.lsu.edu or email at email@example.com.
Upcoming Programs & Events
This program offers advanced demonstrations, topic extensions and all-new games and activities to an older crowd. Certificates will be earned, and a section of archived experiments, some not seen in over fifteen years (and some never performed on site), take place. Engineering, early NASA missions and astrobiology are some of the programmed topics.
Perseid Meteor Shower
Every summer the Earth plows through a trail of cometary debris. HRPO hosts a viewing session during the nighttime period with the best chance of high meteor rates. Program may shift by one day.
Weather permitting, personnel presents the Sun projected onto a white surface, directly via safely-filtered optical light and directly with a hydrogen-alpha telescope. Patrons are able to see any sizable sunspots or flares. Protective clothing and sunscreen recommended.
On these nights visitors get something in addition to standard viewing: a sky tour, physical science demonstrations, filtered lunar trips, “birth” stars and a marshmallow roast.