Concept

Washburn Observatory

Summary
The Washburn Observatory (obs. code: 753) is an astronomical observatory located at 1401 Observatory Drive on the University of Wisconsin–Madison campus in Madison, Wisconsin, United States. Completed in 1881, it was a major research facility for about 50 years. Today, it is home to the UW-Madison College of Letters and Science Honors Program, while the telescope remains in use by students in introductory astronomy courses and the general public during open houses and viewings. History The observatory is named after the former Wisconsin governor, Cadwallader C. Washburn. In 1876, the Wisconsin State Legislature passed "An Act to permanently provide for deficiencies in the University fund income" to which Washburn added a provision that allocated a sum of $3000 USD per year over three years for the establishment of astronomy instruction and a corresponding observatory. This money was not to come from state funds, but was to be raised with property tax.
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