Rancho Mirage Observatory

Rancho Mirage, California, USA
Outdoor view of the Rancho Mirage Observatory at sunset.

The City of Rancho Mirage Observatory, which officially opened on March 25, 2018, is a teaching and learning tool for all ages, intended to further public understanding of our night skies while offering new programming opportunities in astronomy. The Observatory plays an integral role in the growth of the Rancho Mirage Library’s campus. Constructed adjacent to the Library’s western entrance, the addition of this research level facility underscores the Library’s commitment to lifelong learning, education for all ages, and a focus on the sciences. In addition to onsite tours, telescope viewing and group stargazing with individually owned telescopes, the Observatory will be able to transmit images into locations within the Library, creating limitless possibilities for educational programming and activities for all ages and levels of expertise.

Inside the dome is a PlaneWave CDK700 Telescope. This project was coordinated by the City of Rancho Mirage along with the contractor Sea West Enterprises. Observatory Systems was brought on to the project by Sea West Enterprises, Inc to automate the ASH Manufacturing Dome and provide the design and installation of the observing automation system. This includes the installation of the weather systems, computing systems, and automation of the Planewave Instruments CDK700 telescope. Observatory Systems designed the layout of the Cosmic Office where users will interact with the information from and control the telescope.


The telescope being lowered into the Rancho Mirage Observatory by a crane. Indoor view of the telescope inside the Rancho Mirage Observatory Outdoor view of the entrance to the Rancho Mirage Observatory Outdoor view of an Ash-Dome atop the Rancho Mirage Observatory Outdoor view of the Rancho Mirage Observatory at sunset.