Learn About Eagle Eye Observatory in Burnet County, Texas

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Locatedin the scenic expanses of the Canyon of the Eagles Resort in Burnet County, Texas, the Eagle Eye Observatory stands as a gateway to the cosmos. This unique facility offers both amateur stargazers and seasoned astronomers a chance to delve into the mysteries of the universe. If you’re planning a visit, here’s what you can expect at this celestial viewing haven.

Overview of Eagle Eye Observatory

Operated in partnership with the Austin Astronomical Society, the Eagle Eye Observatory offers an educational and inspiring experience for all who visit. The observatory houses advanced astronomical equipment, including high-powered telescopes that allow for stunning views of distant stars, planets, and galaxies.

The facility is designed to enhance your understanding of the night sky. Informative sessions led by knowledgeable astronomers provide insights into what you’re viewing, making the experience not just breathtaking but also educational.

What to Expect

Silhouette of two persons stargazing

Visitors to the Eagle Eye Observatory can look forward to a variety of astronomical activities:

  • Guided stargazing sessions: These sessions are perfect for beginners and enthusiasts alike. Experts are on hand to guide you through the constellations, explain celestial phenomena, and assist with the telescopes. Each Eagle Eye Observatory (EEO) session is one hour, with a maximum of 20 guests per session.
  • Astronomy workshops: Periodically, the observatory hosts workshops that delve deeper into astronomy topics, including astrophotography and telescope handling.
  • Special events: Keep an eye out for special astronomical events such as meteor showers, comets, eclipses, and planetary alignments. The observatory often organizes viewing parties that make these celestial events even more exciting.

Telescopes at the Observatory

Visitors to Eagle Eye Observatory have access to a range of top-tier telescopes, ensuring an unparalleled stargazing experience:

  • 14-inch Celestron 1400HD: This telescope features a clear aperture with Edge Technology and is fully automated on an equatorial mount with Go-To targeting capabilities.
  • 12-inch Meade Schmidt Cassegrain: Mounted on an Alt/Az fork with Go-To Technology, this reflector is ideal for deep-sky viewing.
  • 11-inch Celestron Schmidt Cassegrain: Enhanced with a HyperStar lens converting it to f/2, this telescope is equipped with a Mallincam Xterminator video camera for exceptional celestial imaging.
  • Orion ED100 Apochromatic Refractor Telescope: Known for its sharp, color-corrected views, this 100mm refractor is excellent for both planetary and deep-sky observations.
  • Coronado SolarMax 90mm Solar Telescope: Dedicated to solar observation, this double-stack telescope allows for safe and detailed views of solar phenomena like sunspots and solar flares.

Sessions and Booking Information

The Eagle Eye Observatory offers nightly viewing sessions that provide an intimate and detailed look at the stars. The sessions are scheduled as follows:

  • Sunday to Thursday: 10:00-11:00 PM, 11:00 PM-12:00 AM
  • Friday and Saturday: 10:00-11:00 PM, 11:00 PM-12:00 AM, 12:00-1:00 AM

Additional sessions for each time slot will open only when the previous slot is fully booked, ensuring an optimal viewing experience without overcrowding. Each session is one hour long and accommodates a maximum of 20 guests, allowing for personalized attention and access to the telescopes.

Pricing:

  • Resort Lodge Rooms, RV, and Campsite Guests: $10 per guest
  • Day Guests: $20 per guest

These prices include all taxes and fees, making it a great value for a unique educational experience.

Reservations: Booking in advance is essential to secure your spot at a session. Reservations can be made through the Canyon of the Eagles Resort website or by contacting the resort directly. Due to the limited number of spaces available in each session, early booking is highly recommended, especially during peak visiting times and special celestial events.

Planning Your Visit

To make the most of your visit to the Eagle Eye Observatory, here are a few tips:

  1. Check the schedule. Visit the Canyon of the Eagles Resort website to check the observatory’s schedule, as it is open on select evenings depending on the weather and astronomical viewing conditions.
  2. Book in advance. Space at the observatory can be limited, especially during special events or peak visiting times. Booking your spot in advance is highly recommended.
  3. Prepare for the weather. Nights can be chilly, even in Texas. Dress warmly in layers and consider bringing a blanket.
  4. Bring a red flashlight. To preserve your night vision and that of other guests, use a red flashlight instead of a standard one.
  5. Respect the dark. The observatory is located in a dark sky area to reduce light pollution and enhance your viewing experience. Help maintain this by minimizing light use and following any guidelines provided by the staff.
  6. You can bring your own telescope. The observatory has 31 pads available for setting up telescopes located on the grounds just outside the observatory. Guests can bring their own telescope and set up and view during regular observatory hours. There’s no additional charge for this.

Driving Directions to Canyon of the Eagles Resort

From Burnet County:

  1. Starting Point – Burnet, TX: Begin your journey in Burnet, the heart of Burnet County. Head west on TX-29 W/W Polk St toward S Water St for about 2 miles.
  2. Turn North: Turn right onto FM 2341/N Water St and continue for approximately 18 miles. This scenic route offers picturesque views of the Texas Hill Country and leads directly to the entrance of the Canyon of the Eagles Resort.

From Austin, TX:

  1. Head Northwest: Take TX-1 Loop N, merge onto US-183 N, and continue towards Leander. This section of the drive is about 18 miles.
  2. Continue on TX-29: Use the right two lanes to turn right onto TX-29 W and drive towards Burnet. Stay on TX-29 W for about 30 miles until you reach Burnet.
  3. Turn onto FM 2341: In Burnet, turn right onto FM 2341/N Water St and follow it for 18 miles to reach Canyon of the Eagles Resort.

From San Antonio, TX:

  1. Take US-281 N: Start on US-281 N towards Johnson City. Continue on US-281 N for about 78 miles until you reach Burnet.
  2. Transition to TX-29: In Burnet, turn left onto TX-29 W and drive for 3 miles.
  3. Final Stretch on FM 2341: Turn right onto FM 2341/N Water St and continue for about 18 miles until you arrive at Canyon of the Eagles Resort.

General Tips for Your Drive:

  • Always check current traffic conditions and road closures before starting your trip.
  • Make sure you have enough fuel for the trip, as the final stretch on FM 2341 has limited services.
  • Use a GPS or smartphone navigation app so you can get real-time directions and assistance in finding the best route to the resort.

With these directions, you’ll be well on your way to experiencing the natural beauty and celestial wonders at the Canyon of the Eagles Resort and the Eagle Eye Observatory.

Weather and Cancellation Policies

Observatory sessions are contingent on weather conditions. In case of poor weather, the Eagle Eye Observatory offers alternative educational programs using planetarium software and interactive Q&A sessions on a large-screen television. Please note that due to the popularity of the programs, no refunds, reschedules, or rainchecks are available. Management reserves the right to modify terms and conditions as necessary.

About Canyon of the Eagles Resort

A booted eagle perched on a tree branch

Besides the Eagle Eye Observatory, you can enjoy other amenities and things to do at the Canyon of the Eagles Resort. Known for its breathtaking views and tranquil setting, the resort is the perfect escape for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike. The name of the resort reflects the area’s natural inhabitants — the majestic bald eagles that can be observed around the property, particularly during the cooler months.

Amenities and Activities

The resort offers a variety of amenities and activities designed to enhance your stay:

  • Accommodations: Choose from comfortable lodge rooms, cozy RV sites, or scenic campsites. Each option provides a unique way to experience the natural beauty of the area.
  • Dining: The resort’s restaurant overlooks Lake Buchanan and offers a menu that features local ingredients and seasonal dishes, perfect for a relaxing meal after a day of exploration.
  • Hiking Trails: Explore over 14 miles of designated hiking trails that meander through the property. These trails offer everything from leisurely walks to challenging hikes, with plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife and native plants.
  • Bird Watching: With over 150 species of birds identified in the area, the resort is a bird watcher’s paradise. Guided tours and bird-watching events are available, offering a chance to see bald eagles and other rare species.
  • Water Activities: Lake Buchanan is accessible from the resort and provides ample opportunities for fishing, kayaking, and paddleboarding. Equipment rentals are available on-site.
  • Nature Programs: The resort hosts various nature programs and workshops that cater to all ages, focusing on the local ecology and wildlife.

Canyon of the Eagles is also an ideal location for weddings, corporate retreats, and family reunions, with full-service catering and event planning available. The resort offers pet-friendly accommodations so you can bring your furry friends along for the adventure.

Relaxation and Recreation

Beyond outdoor activities, the resort encourages relaxation and wellness. Enjoy the outdoor pool and evening campfires, or simply unwind with a book on your private porch overlooking the natural surroundings.

Conclusion

The Eagle Eye Observatory offers a unique blend of natural beauty and scientific exploration. Whether you’re a novice looking to learn more about the night sky or an experienced astronomer eager to use state-of-the-art equipment, this observatory provides a memorable and educational adventure. Plan your visit to the Eagle Eye Observatory and unlock the wonders of the universe.

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