Visit the Daniel Observatory during our Friday Starry Nights programs.
The Charles E. Daniel Observatory features a very historic 23″ refractor telescope, the eighth largest of its kind in the nation. The Great Refractor was completed in 1882 for Princeton University and was the main instrument in their Halsted Observatory. The lens was figured by Alvan Clark and Sons of Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 1933, the telescope was entirely rebuilt by J. W. Fecker Company. The U.S. Naval Observatory owned the telescope from 1964 until 1978, when it was offered to the School District of Greenville County.
Funds provided by the Charles E. Daniel Family Foundation were used in renovating the telescope and in constructing the observatory building to house the telescope. The telescope is used to educate, to inspire, and to entertain visitors. Each Friday evening, the observatory is open from 7:00-10:00 PM for public observation, in conjunction with programs shown in the planetarium. Astronomy classes for students, special events, and organized activities by the Roper Mountain Astronomers round out a busy schedule for the most highly visible facility on the mountain!