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Link Observatory Looks to the Stars

The Link Observatory is constructed of wood from trees cut down from the hilltop. To craft the observatory dome, a shipbuilder curved the wood. Photo credit: Emily Metheny
At the top of a hill, at the end of a small country lane lies a hidden gem. Less than 5 miles from Mooresville sits an iron gate protecting a treasured piece of Morgan County history, the Goethe Link Observatory Space Science Institute. Built in the 1930s by an amateur astronomer and Indianapolis surgeon, Dr. Goethe Link, the facility has been in use since its creation.

Dr. Link gifted the observatory to Indiana University in the 1940s, and in the following years it was used for the Indiana Asteroid Program. Ultimately, during the 1980s light pollution made research impractical, and the program came to an end.

Consequently, Indiana University contracted the Indiana Astronomical Society to be the caretakers of the property, and in 2012, the Link Observatory Space Science Institute was founded to allow for more public programs surrounding STEM and the facility. Today, all three organizations work in a partnership to advance the study of astronomy.