With support of NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center, the dome of Prairie View Solar Observatory, located on the southeast corner of the campus, was constructed in 1998. The 35 cm Gregorian vacuum telescope saw "first light" in December of that year. The observations began in late April of 1999. This observatory, founded by Dr. Tian-Sen Huang and his colleagues, is the first ground-based solar research facility in the State of Texas, which filled the long-standing gap between two well-developed scientific areas, space science and astronomy, in the State.
Today, the research at Prairie View Solar Observatory covers a very broad array of topics: solar physics, fusion plasma physics and space science.
The PVSO is also hosting a Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program sponsored by the National Science Foundation.