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 astronomy and astrophysics curricula, and majors 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.

Monday Nights: York Universe Radio Show and Online Public Viewing

The York Universe Radio Show is broadcast on Monday nights between 9:00 and 10:00 pm on the online radio station astronomy.fm. Tune in to hear about current and historical events and to listen to interviews with astronomers.

Simultaneously and often in conjunction with the York Universe Radio Show is online public viewing. Besides being able to see live images from our telescopes, it is possible to chat with the staff of the Observatory who are more than happy to answer your questions. Requests for objects to observe are entertained.

More information about Monday's York Universe Radio Show and online public viewing along with links to them can be found here.

Wednesday Nights: Live Public Viewing and Online TeleTube Tours

When there is no pandemic, the Observatory is open for public viewing on Wednesday nights. Visitors are able to observe selected celestial objects in the presence of friendly staff and to engage in various hands-on 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 will be a slide show and a tour featuring both telescopes.

The Observatory also conducts a live "TeleTube" tour on its YouTube channel every Wednesday night at 7:30 pm. This online version of public viewing is followed by a Q&A session with the Observatory team.

More information about Public Viewing and TeleTube tours can be found 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.