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Getting Started Getting started for the evening
Setting August Milky Way Setting August Milky Way
Getting Started Canopus culminating on the Southern horizon
Getting Started The Zodiacal Light, Venus, and the Milky Way
At the observatory looking north toward the gate At the gate looking south toward the observatory
Looking north from the observatory during the day At the gate looking south to the Observatory
Rainbow at the Grasslands Observatory
Rainbow at the Grasslands Observatory


Sharpless and Other Miscellaneous Objects


The Astronomical League

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This site last updated on Friday June 21, 2024


Now Available

The Sky at Night

The Barnard Objects - Then and Now


Barnard Object - Then and Now

The Sky at Night - easy enjoyment from your backyard


Now Available in their entirety:

Arp Objects

Messier Objects

Northern Caldwell Objects

Southern Caldwell Objects


We Support:

IDA (now DarkSky International)

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The Grasslands Observatory is owned by Tim Hunter.

The Director of the observatory is James McGaha, who is in charge of the observatory's operations.

The Grasslands Observatory was started in 1985 when Tim Hunter purchased 20 acres of land at a remote location in Southeastern Arizona approximately an hour's drive from Tucson. The site has no horizon obstructions in any direction and sits on a large grassy plateau surrounded by distant mountains. It is at 5000 feet elevation, and there is only minor light pollution from distant Tucson, Sierra Vista, and Nogales, Arizona (and Sonora, Mexico).

In 1986, a 24-inch f/5 equatorial Newtonian (f/20 Cassegrain telescope) was purchased from its builder Jeff Shaffer and installed in a 20 x 20 foot roll-off building. The building was designed by Tim Hunter and James McGaha and built by them under the guidance of Jeff Shaffer.

To the direct west of the original Observatory Building is the Warm Room (sometime called the Control Room) a separate 14 x 14 foot building which is heated and insulated. It contains the controls for multiple telescope, a microwave, refrigerator, computers, bed, power, telephone, and internet service. Unfortunately, there is no running water.

The Warm Room was originally built in 1995 when the original 24-inch telescope was changed from mainly visual use to electronic imaging.

In 2013 the Warm Room/Control Room was expanded considerably by a 14 x 26 foot additon, and a separate 12 x 14 foot Storage Room was added. A new weather station and an All Sky Cam were also added.

Since 2015, the Grasslands Observatory has been significally improved and enlarged with the addition of three new 14 x 14 foot roll-off roof buildings containing telescopes for remote operations.

A PlaneWave 24-inch CDK24 f/6.5 telescope, an ASA 20-inch f/3.6 telescope, and a Takahashi Epsilon 180 f/2.8 telescope are in active use via remote operation. Further improvement in software and hardware for more "automatic" operation is continuing.

tbh 11 November 2017; tbh Tuesday May 21, 2019


This site last updated on Friday June 21, 2024

Web Page First Uploaded 16 December 1998

Web Page Redesigned and Uploaded July 2014