Prairie Grass Observatory is located under dark rural skies at Camp Cullom (Clinton County Foundation for Youth), between Mulberry and Frankfort, Indiana, and is available to the public.  Technical assistance is provided by the Wabash Valley Astronomical Society in Lafayette.

The observatory has four telescopes: a huge 28" aperture Dobsonian, a 16" LX200R Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope, a 16" Newtonian telescope, and a 7" apochromatic refractor. The observatory also has a pair of giant 25/40X100 binoculars, and a hydrogen-alpha filter for solar viewing. Click here for more info on these scopes and other equipment at the observatory.
Indiana Family Star Party 2017
Will be held July 26-30, 2017 at Camp Cullom.
Pictures from last year are here.
Public Viewing Events
International Space Station
Photo by John Mahony
The International Space Station and other satellites can be viewed through the observatory's 16" LX200R telescope.

Click here for a schedule of upcoming public viewing events.
In order to avoid bright headlights in the observing area, please use the parking lot east of the Nature center.

The observatory is also available at special request for group viewing events.  Contact Russ Kaspar at or John Mahony at

Need directions to the site? Here's a map (includes a map of Camp Cullom).
Parking is east of the Nature Center.

Doug Sanqunetti took this image of the Whirlpool Galaxy (M51) using his own
telescope on the PGO grounds.  Doug is one of several local area amateur astronomers
who bring their own telescopes to use under the dark rural skies of Camp Cullom.

H-alpha Solar View
Prairie Grass Observatory is an official asteroid tracking/discovery station.
20 asteroids have been discovered at PGO, and numerous
follow-up observations of newly discovered near-earth asteroids have been made.

The observatory has two "Yahoo Groups" e-mail lists.  Both are open to the public.  The first, on the left, is the "official" observatory mail list and is used primarily only for notices of public events at the observatory.  The second, on the right, will also include notices of events at nearby astronomy clubs, and can also be used for general discussions of astronomy and telescope equipment, and can be used by local amateur astronomers in the area to arrange observing get-togethers at Camp Cullom or elsewhere.
Clear Sky Chart
The observatory is named "Prairie Grass Observatory" because it is located in the middle of one of the largest stands of native prairie grass in the state.

Click here for a history of the development of Prairie Grass Observatory.
For those considering building a small observatory, construction details are available here.

Click here to see Clinton County's light pollution ordinance.

The observatory is part of Camp Cullom, which is operated by the Clinton County Foundation for Youth.
For more information on the observatory itself, contact Russ Kaspar at or John Mahony at

Camp Cullom phone: (765)296-2753  Note that this is the camp ranger's home phone, do not call after 10 pm!
This is a local call from both Lafayette and Frankfort.

MPC H59          Latitude:  N40º18'48"       Longitude:  W86º38'05"       Elevation:  249m (817 ft.)

PGO Website hosting donated by Mintel
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Click here for more astrophotography of the sun and moon, the planets, star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies.
All images taken at PGO
Photo By John Mahony
Photo By John Mahony