Daglen Observatory

Benedictine’s Daglen Observatory to be Open for Solar Eclipse

Benedictine College plans to have the Daglen Observatory open for public viewing of the solar eclipse on Monday, April 8, during the afternoon. The observatory, located on a hill at the corner of 3rd Steet and N Street, will be open from 12:30 p.m. until 3:15 p.m. that day with multiple telescopes fitted with solar filters available, weather permitting. Free eclipse glasses will also be available while supplies last.

In Atchison, the solar eclipse is projected to achieve 87% totality. The eclipse should begin at 12:38 p.m., reach maximum coverage at 1:54 p.m., and conclude at 3:10 p.m.

Built in 2017, the Daglen Observatory is part of the Vatican Observatory Consortium and was funded by a gift from Joe ’69 and Frankee Wright ’69 Daglen. It has an automatic roll-off roof, four large 14-inch telescopes, plus a control room where images from the telescopes can be viewed on monitors. This will allow visitors plenty of opportunity to view the eclipse.

The roll-off design allows for the placement of multiple telescopes, rather than the single telescope found in a traditional domed observatory. In addition to the rolling roof, the large telescopes in the observation area are mounted on piers that are isolated from the foundation to eliminate vibration. The observatory is managed by the Benedictine College Department of Physics & Astronomy and department faculty and students operate the computer-controlled telescopes from the comfort of the adjacent control room.


Benedictine College

Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas. The school is honored to have been named one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report, the best private college in Kansas by The Wall Street Journal, and one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation by First Things magazine and the Newman Guide. It prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging. Benedictine College is dedicated to transforming culture in America through its mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.