• Stargate Observatory



    The Stargate Observatory Is Open on Occasional Friday and Saturday Evenings


    (Dependent of Weather Conditions)


     Astronomical Images taken with the telescopes at Stargate Observatory:


    Solar eciplse  
    Partial Solar Eclipse 
    October 23rd, 2014 - 1:15 pm
    10" LX200 Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescope

    Lunar eclipse

    Blood Moon - Lunar Eclipse on April 14th, 2014 with Mars to the right


    M13 taken with our Canon 5D camera by Jim Egger

      half moon     

    Half Moon - 10 in Schmidt - Cassegrain Telescope  



    M33 Andromeda Galaxy - 26 in Newtonian Reflector



    M45 taken through 26 in Newtonian Reflector


    Stargate Observatory Timeline 

    Phase 1 - relocation of the observatory completed December 2008
    Phase 2 - construction of a second smaller observatory completed May 2009
    Phase 3 - construction of a deck and pathway between both observatories completed June 2009
    Phase 4 - construction of a pathway to the observatories from the back parking lot - Planning stages
    Phase 1
    Mat-Su Career & Technical High School (CTHS) science department has reached its goal of collecting over $21,000 in donations and grants to help relocate Stargate Observatory from Burchell High School to our school.  Built in 2001 Stargate Observatory houses one of the largest Newtonian Reflector telescopes in Alaska and is the only public observatory in the state.  Over the last seven years more than 3,000 students and community members have visited the observatory to learn about the night sky while they view many different astronomical objects. Over the years the amount of night sky has been reduced by light pollution, mainly caused by new growth around Burchell High School.   Thus, we are moving the observatory to CTHS where the light pollution will be reduced and is more protected from the wind.   This will allow us to see many dimmer astronomical objects like galaxies and nebulae that we weren’t able to see due to light pollution.

    The original telescope was purchased for $6,000 from local astronomer Jim Egger who design and constructed the telescope for Wasilla High School,  teacher Mike Lutz and TAG students as a way to promote astronomy.  But, when Wasilla High School couldn't find the funds or location to place the telescope Tim Lundt and Burchell High School stepped up and raised $40,000 to construct the observatory, foundation and to make upgrades to the telescope (computerized, and adding weight to the forks) necessary to make the telescope optimal for community shows..
    Lowe's Tool Box grant for $7,500 was used to construct a shed to house our 10 inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope and donations from citizens and companies listed below were used to make to foundation for the large observatory and to move 24 foot by 24 foot building from Burchell High School to Mat-Su Career & Technical High School.  For more information contact Tim Lundt at 352-0433.
    Phase 2

    Our new observatory  is a 10 x 12 foot shed with a roll off roof. This observatory was completed on May 22nd, 2009.  Making our facilities one of the best that any high school has in the United States. This new observatory will be able to increase the use of our telescopes because  when it is windy we usually have to close down, but now with this new observatory we can  close the roof and open the dome and still observe the night sky while being protected against the wind. 


         phase 1  phase 2   phase 3 

                                                                                                                              phase 4  phase 5 

                                                                                     phase 6  final phase

    Special thanks to the following people for their time and effort in the design and construction of the small observatory without their help we wouldn't have finished:

    Alan Johnson

    Chris Taylor
    Ken Rezendes
    Roy Baxter
    Jolene McDowell
    Misti Schiewe

    Number one student worker and construction foreman - Pat Hickle worked everyday on the observatory.  His hard work was a terrific asset.

    Other student workers:

    Logan Grothe
    Chase Clement
    Bradley Kurtzweil
    Gene Laulailen
    Josh Hicks
    Brad Primmer - draw up the plans for the observatory


    Phase 3
    Lukas Marty's  Eagle Scout Project was to construct a deck/pathway that connects the large observatory with our new small observatory.  See pictures below:
    stage 1       stage 2      stage 3     stage 4
    stage 5
    Funds provided by Lowe's Toolbox Grant
    Special Thanks:
     Lukas Marty
      Marty Family
    All the scouts and community members that assisted with this project without their hard work this project wouldn't have been completed!

    CTHS appreciates the following companies and private citizens for their contributions.


    Lowe's Tool Box Grant

    Jim Egger

    BP of Alaska

    Palmer Lions Club
    Big Lake Lions Club

    VFW Wasilla


    Senior Care of Alaska


    HDR Alaska

    Kiwanis Club of Palmer

    Mat-Valley Federal Credit Union

    Jeff Parsons & Family

    Fubar Equipment

    Schucks Auto Wasilla

    1-2-Wonder Web Services


    Wells Fargo

    United Rental

    Husky Electric

    Alaska USA Credit Union

    Dr. Jack Duclos

    William Siedler & Family

    Sean Murphy & Family


    In Memory of Michael Seward

    KMBQ 99.7 FM
Last Modified on January 17, 2024