Observatory

Observatory

Located on the York University campus, the Allan I. Carswell Astronomical Observatory houses two large telescopes, primary mirror diameters for which are 60 cm and 100 cm (1 meter). Both are equipped with state-of-the-art electronic cameras. The one-meter telescope, which was installed in the summer of 2019, is the largest telescope on a university campus in all of Canada. The Observatory is an integral part of the astronomy curriculum, and astronomy students engage with the facilities starting in first year. Also, the Observatory is the hub of a wide variety of outreach activities. A separate website devoted to the Observatory and its operations is located here.

Public Viewing on Wednesday Nights

The observatory welcomes public interest and highly promotes the field of astronomy to those who are interested. Our public viewing program runs all year round and is popular with the local and visiting communities. On public viewing nights, visitors are able to observe selected celestial objects in the presence of friendly staff, in addition to engaging in various on-hand presentations. The observatory is open regardless of weather conditions, even though viewing through the telescope is limited to clear skies. If it is cloudy, there still will be a slide show and a tour featuring both of our telescopes. Due to the limited capacity of the one-meter dome, though, registration is required. More information and opportunities to register can be found here.

York Universe Radio Show on astronomy.fm

Download and listen to selected interviews and segments featured on YorkUniverse.  All archived audio clips are lower quality .mp3s between 5MB and 15MB in size.  Send us an e-mail if you would like the high quality versions! Also check out astronomy.fm and our Monday night online public viewing here.

Group Tours

The York University Observatory offers private tours for school groups, youth organizations, clubs, and large groups of interested individuals.  These can include slide show presentations, tours of our facilities, live demonstrations and hands-on activities, and of course, viewing through the telescopes when conditions permit. Further details about tours and how to book them are given here.

On-Line Public Viewing

Monday nights, after the sun sets and the stars come out, we bring our online public viewing experience.  You can see live images from four telescopes/cameras and chat with the staff who will be more than happy to answer your questions. Requests for objects to observe will be entertained. Find out more here.