“A home for anyone who looks at the heavens with wonder and amazement” – Bill Linton

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

The Bell Burnell Observatory is located on the Promega campus in Fitchburg, WI. The observatory first opened in 1882 as the Student Observatory on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In 1960, the building was moved to its current location, where it served as a home for the Madison Astronomical Society for 25 years. Today, the fully renovated observatory is one of the oldest operational observatories in the United States.  

Now the Bell Burnell Observatory, this historic facility is a home for students once again. Educational programs hosted by the BTC Institute will give stargazers of all ages a unique opportunity to get hands-on experience with modern observational tools. These programs are supported by a dedicated education fund established by Bill Linton and Dargar Bjorksten. 

Learn more about the Bell Burnell Observatory’s history and current activities: Bell Burnell Observatory Key Points

ABOUT DR. JOCELYN BELL BURNELL 

Dr. Jocelyn Bell Burnell is an astronomer best known for discovering the rapidly spinning neutron stars later named “pulsars” while she was a graduate student at the University of Cambridge. She has shown a lifelong commitment to supporting women and other marginalized groups in astronomy. Throughout her long career, she championed the belief that anyone can make the next big discovery, and it is this belief that drives the mission of the Bell Burnell Observatory. 

BELL BURNELL OBSERVATORY NEWS

Middle school students participating in A Celebration of Life XXVII: Planetary Explorers!  had a great session at the observatory in June.  Check out the photos from their visit and read about what they learned!

Interested in supporting the bell burnell observatory?

If you would like to contribute to our educational and/or research activities, please consider making a donation to our endowment funds. We would be happy to answer any questions you may have. Thank you. DONATE NOW

Naming dedication of the bell burnell observatory

We were so honored to have Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell join us for these events. It was a packed two days of astronomy. So much was shared – from technical discussion to advice regarding ways students can confidently continue their chosen paths. The importance of engaging in outreach efforts that encourage the next generation of astronomers, of informed and thoughtful citizens was emphasized throughout our time together. Thank you Dr. Bell Burnell!

ASTRONOMERS’ DAY: PANEL DISCUSSION – September 6, 2022

WATCH NOWPanelists: Dr. Jocelyn Bell Burnell; Edward Churchwell, Albert E. Whitford Professor Emeritus, Department of Astronomy, UW-Madison; Snezana Stanimirovic, Professor, Department of Astronomy, UW-Madison; Sarah Vigeland, Assistant Professor, Physics, University of Wisconsin – MilwaukeeModerator: Will Jarvis, Astronomy/Physics Major, University of Wisconsin – Madison

NAMING DEDICATION OF THE BELL BURNELL OBSERVATORY – September  7, 2022
VIDEO Coming soon!

View an Instagram Reel from Adrian Diaz-Espinoza, who recorded this video of Jocelyn Bell Burnell during her visit for these events.

Check out this essay contributed by our International Forum on Consciousness keynote speaker, Dr. Avi Loeb: Do Astronomers Exist on Other Habitable Planets?