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The History of the Thomsen Observatory

Updated: Oct 11, 2021

The Thomsen Observatory is a great place to go with family and friends for a fun evening learning about and viewing God’s creation. One can now see the moon, Saturn, and Jupiter. Many people come and learn something new, whether they are astronomy experts or just curious! The community can star or planet gaze at the Thomsen Observatory the first and third Friday of each month, from 7 to 10:30 p.m.

The Thomsen Observatory, located on Linden Street in Cleburne, Tx, is directly across from the Southwestern Adventist University (SWAU) soccer field. The Thomsen Observatory was founded in 1984 by Dennis Dickerson and other interested parties.

Dickerson named the observatory after Eugene V. Thomsen, whom he held in great respect. Cristina Thomsen, SWAU library director, is the daughter of Eugene V. Thomsen.

"He was an academic dean who had previously taught Spanish," Jerry Becker, observatory manager, explained. “Very very nice guy!”

Becker is a retired high school math and computer science teacher. He had a lifelong interest in astronomy and while not an official SWAU employee, Becker volunteers, working to increase public interest in astronomy and the observatory.

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