The Hartung Boothroyd Observatory

Photo courtesy Justin Zoll,

The Hartung-Boothroyd Observatory is located off the Cornell campus, atop Mount Pleasant. It is used mainly as a teaching facility for upper-level astronomy classes. The observatory is named in honor of M. John Hartung '08 (chemical industrialist) and Samuel L. Boothroyd (professor and chairman of astronomy 19211942). The telescope construction began in the 1930s and the observatory was dedicated in 1974. It contains the James R. Houck 25-inch telescope and various instruments.

The telescope, control electronics and instruments are largely the result of work done by Cornell undergraduates since 1970. The telescope mount was designed as a senior project by George E. Gull '72. It was manufactured by the students at the Tompkins, Tioga and Seneca BOCES and by Therm, Inc., with mirror coatings by Evaporated Metal Films corporation, all in Ithaca. The observatory was founded by James Houck and managed by him through 2006. The principal contact is Don Barry, who has managed the facility from 2006 onwards.

"Graduates" of the HBO project are now senior engineers and technical managers as well as graduate students, research associates and faculty at major universities.

Map to HBO


Location: 42°27′29.61″ N, 76°23′04.59″ W   Elevation: 1753 ft = 534 m    Observatory Code: H81

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