The Etelman Observatory of the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) is the southernmost and easternmost optical observatory in the United States, located on the island of St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands. This 3000 ft2 facility is home to the Virgin Islands Robotic Telescope (VIRT), an 0.5m robotic telescope, and at an elevation of 1400 ft, it boasts picturesque daytime views of the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, and nighttime views of the Northern and Southern Hemisphere. Astronomers with the UVI's Physics program, and industry scientists from OrangeWave Innovative Science, LLC operate and maintain the observatory, its one acre grounds, and VIRT. The observatory is a key research and student training component in UVI's Physics and Engineering programs, that in addition to ground-based observing supports a diverse variety of scientific research, technology development, educational, and outreach initiatives, as well as tourism activities.
Despite recent challenges due to severe hurricanes and the current pandemic, the observatory has dramatically increased its scientific production in time domain and multi-messenger astrophysics, including participation in international collaborations, while continuing to grow the rigorous research and hands-on engineering activities available to undergraduate and high school students, both in the US Virgin Islands and US mainland. In conjunction, its grounds are being rejuvenated, and sustainable small-scale farming introduced to pave the way for more scientists, undergraduate researchers, community members, and visitors alike to study and take in the abundant flora that call its multiple tiered gardens home.
For more information about Etelman Observatory, please visit our FAQ page .
VIRT/Ground based Astronomy
USVI Climate Monitor
Solar Atmospheric & Plasma Physics