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Sierra Vista's Best Kept Secret!


The Patterson Observatory has been selected to participate in the Arizona Astronomy Consortium

Leave a Legacy at the Patterson Observatory by purchasing a Star to place on the Comet Wall with your name engraved on the star.



Public Night is held once a month on the Thursday nearest first quarter moon.  It is free and open to the public.   Observing starts a half hour after sunset.  The event is weather dependent and is canceled in the event of clouds or inclement weather. *


2021 Schedule

The Patterson Observatory Public Viewing Nights are Cancelled until further notice. 

Sorry for any inconvenience.



The University South Foundation, Inc. owns and maintains the Patterson Observatory located on University of Arizona Sierra Vista Campus. The Huachuca Astronomy Club (HAC) volunteers operates the observatory and hosts Public Viewing Nights.

These "Public Nights" are free and family friendly and start about a half hour after sunset. They are weather dependent (canceled during inclement weather) and are not scheduled during the monsoon months of July and  August. Public Nights are announced in the Around Your Town section of the Sierra Vista Herald, on the HAC website, and on Facebook. The observatory is also available, by appointment, to serve youth, school and community organizations.

The Patterson Observatory is listed as a NASA Space Place and has a 16 foot dome, housing a Ritchey-Chretien  telescope of 20” aperture. This telescope, with its sophisticated detectors, is capable of observing objects one  million times fainter that the human eye can detect.

The University South Foundation Patterson Observatory opened the 11th of September 2004, and serves the greater Sierra Vista area with public viewings and group reservations.

“Call 520 458 8278 extension 2214 for a recorded message about the next Patterson public night and to check for cancellations.”

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Private Events for your club,

group or youth organization can be scheduled by calling the University South Foundation, Inc. office at 520 458 8278 ext. 2129

The Patterson Observatory named after  Mr. David Patterson

Patterson and his wife, June, were founding members of the Huachuca Astronomy Club and volunteers at the Flandrau Planetarium in Tucson, Arizona.


Patterson was a major contributor to the creation of the observatory, including the purchase of the telescopes, and constructing the building.


His legacy continues to support the observatory and the University South Foundation.

Videos for your viewing pleasure...

*Disclaimer: “In consideration of my attendance at observing events held at the Patterson Observatory 1140 N. Colombo Avenue, Sierra Vista AZ, I agree to hold harmless the Patterson Observatory, The University South Foundation, Inc., the University of Arizona, South and the Huachuca Astronomy Club of Southeastern Arizona (also known as HAC or the Huachuca Astronomy Club), including their members, officers and sponsors from any claims, liabilities, losses, demands, causes of action, suits and expenses (including attorney fees and costs), which may directly or indirectly be connected to my attendance at the hosted event, my participation at the event, or my presence on the premises of the Patterson Observatory and/or the University of Arizona, Sierra Vista campus. I understand that these events are, by their nature, conducted at night and in environments with low levels of lighting, or no lighting, so as not to interfere with the ability of participants to view objects through various telescopes.  Additionally, I understand that I may be required to climb ladders, or stairs, in very low light conditions, or in the absence of light, to properly utilize the telescopes”. 

Wendee Grinde

Director of Operations

520-458-8278 ext. 2129
520-237-4202 cell

Susan Pater


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1140 N. Colombo 

Sierra Vista, AZ  85635

Located behind Cochise College

and follow the UA South signs

© 2014 Proudly created by Wendee Grinde with