Hard Labor Creek Observatory

Welcome to Hard Labor Creek Observatory – A Facility of Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA


Located in the middle of Hard Labor Creek State Park in Rutledge, Georgia (~50 miles east of downtown Atlanta), the observatory is a resource for professional and amateur astronomers. However, an additional service of HLCO has been to the public – bringing the wonders of the Universe to Georgia residents.

Professional astronomers from Georgia State University take advantage of the dark skies, away from the light pollution of Atlanta, Conyers, and Covington, to observe objects as near as the Moon and as far away as the edge of our visible Universe.

Research Facilities:

  • The Miller Telescope: Plane Wave 24″ Corrected Dall-Kirkham Astrograph Telescope
  • The McAlister Telescope: RC Optics 20″ Ritchey-Chrétien Telescope
  • The Wingert Building: Celestron 11″ Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescope

Join us for our public open houses!

Hard Labor Creek Observatory is open to the public one Saturday per month from March until October. Tours & observations begin 30 minutes after sunset and run for two hours. In case of inclement weather, the facilities will still be open for a tour and a brief slideshow.

Please do not plan on arriving early, as astronomers will not be available for assistance during the setup time before the event begins.

No reservations are required, but organizers of large groups (of more than 20 people) should confirm visit times with the GSU Department of Physics and Astronomy at 404-413-6024 at least one week prior to the open house.

Planning Your Visit:

  • Directions to the observatory here.
  • Check out the weather before you go.
  • Open house staff resources.

2018 Open House Dates
March 24: 8:30pm-10:30pm
April 21: 8:45pm-10:45pm
May 19: 9:15pm-11:15pm
June 23: 9:30pm-11:30pm
July 21: 9:15pm-11:15pm
August 18: 9:00pm-11:00pm
September 15: 8:15pm-10:15pm
October 13: 7:30pm-9:30pm

The past and future public open house dates can be found on the HLCO Google calendar.

Check out our gallery of images taken from HLCO, and follow HLCO on Facebook and Twitter.