Aurora over the Badlands

Aurora over the Badlands

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Where is Hidden Valley Observatory (HVO) located?

Hidden Valley Observatory is located at 4715 Hidden Valley Road, Rapid City, South Dakota.  A map is available here.

How do I become a member?

Visit our Membership page, or via the menu visit BHAS->Membership/Donating.  The membership page will have a ‘Become a Member’ button which will take you to PayPal; we’ll contact you shortly after PayPal sends a payment notification.  If you have questions please don’t hesitate to contact any BHAS member and we’ll do our best to help.  Welcome!

How do I make a donation?

It’s as easy as visiting facebook.com/sdbhas or sdbhas.org/membership and clicking the Donate button.   Thank you!

Is a bathroom available?

Yes, a porta-potty is available on-site.

Are water or soda available?

No, we do not sell beverages or food on-site.

Are chairs available in the amphitheater?

Yes, we have limited bench-seating.  However, it’s usually much more comfortable to bring a portable/camping chair.

Can I take pictures of the Moon (Saturn, Jupiter, etc.) through one of the telescopes?

Yes.  We have seen several surprisingly good images taken using a smart phone camera placed to a telescope eyepiece.  However, please be considerate and do this when no one is waiting in line, or later in the evening, as it can sometimes take several shots to get a good image.  Also, be sure to get approval from the scope owner beforehand, and make sure the flash is disabled.

Is it ok to ask questions?

Absolutely.  We make no guarantee we’ll be able to answer all your questions, but we’ll do our best.

Do you take requests to look at a specific star/planet/etc.?

Yes.  We’ll do our best to fulfill your request, although it may have to wait until later in the evening when lines are shorter.

Do you take requests for a planet/nebula/cluster to be imaged with the observatory telescope/camera?

Yes.  Contact Richard, our Observatory Director, or any of the BHAS members working in the observatory the night of your visit.

Are there tours of the observatory?

Yes.  Contact Richard, our Observatory Director, or any BHAS member, and we’ll gladly take you under the dome.

Can we drop in any time?

The public is welcome at scheduled public star parties or by reserving a tour or private star party.

Is there internet access?


Where to park?

Parking is in the grass along the right side of the driveway as approaching the observatory. A layout of the property with the parking area noted can be found here.

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