The crowning architectural feature of the F.W. Olin Physical Sciences Center at Florida Tech is the Ortega Observatory equipped with a 0.8-meter (32-inch) telescope.
In 2004, Florida Tech obtained National Science Foundation (NSF) funding to build a 24-inch telescope atop the newly completed F.W. Olin Physical Sciences Center. However, Melbourne Beach resident Jim Ortega, who had retired from the University of Virginia to Florida in 1998, stepped forward with the additional funds needed to secure a 32-inch telescope, and therefore created the Ortega Observatory.
The Ortega Observatory now serves as the primary training and research instrument for astronomy faculty and students. Weather permitting, each month during the academic year the public are invited to view the wonders of the night sky with the Ortega 0.8-m telescope as part of the Public Science Lecture Series. The observatory is also home to the Florida Tech Student Astronomical Society.