Nicholas R. Anderson Observatory

The Anderson Observatory is a Virginia Tech owned facility that is open to the public during weekly Open Houses. Open Houses are held on  Friday evenings during the Fall and Spring semesters, weather permitting. Please go to the Home page to check the status of the next Open House. Members carpool to the observatory from campus, so this is a good opportunity for members who do not own a car.

What To Expect

The docent(s) conducting the Open House will use the telescope to show various interesting objects visible in the night sky (the Moon, if visible, any visible planets, interesting stellar objects, nebulae, galaxies, any bright comets...). There is very limited seating, so be prepared to stand for the duration of your visit and wear comfortable shoes. The observatory is not heated, so be sure to dress warmly.


To get to the Anderson Observatory from within Blacksburg travel west on Prices Fork Road, past the 460 bypass, towards Radford. Once you pass the Hethwood area, Hethwood Shopping Center, Fire Station, and Kipps Elementary School (in that order), the next right turn is Old Mill Road (just before Cox's Driving Range), just before the Blacksburg town line. Travel about 1/2 mile on Old Mill Road. There is a gate on the right, beyond which you can see the Observatory on the top of a hill. The Observatory looks like a short silo.

Please close the gate after driving through --- the area surrounding the Observatory is a Virginia Tech pasture.

Observatory User Guide

The Observatory User Guide is for those who are authorized to the the telescope without an ACVT officer present. 

Nicholas R. Anderson

Nick Anderson, 2014-2015 ACVT President, passed away on December 22, 2015.


Nick's contributions to the club were invaluable. He shared his passion for and knowledge of astronomy with club members and non-club members alike by orchestrating the sidewalk astronomy events, giving Starry Night presentations at meetings, coordinating the famous "Pluto Smackdown!", keeping the meetings lively and so much more. He was also a good friend to many of us and there are no words to express how much we will all miss him.


Rest in Peace Nick Anderson. We'll look for you among the stars.