University of Rochester’s Department of Physics and Astronomy hosts free public tours from June through August on selected Friday and Saturday evenings, as well as on several weeknights. Tour guides are UR undergraduate and graduate students, as well as members of Rochester’s astronomy club, ASRAS. Three types of tours are offered: Regular (geared for adults and older children), Moon (with primary focus on the waxing Moon) and Kids' (for children 12 and under and the adults who accompany them). Tours convene on the Mees Observatory grounds in the Bristol Hills at 8PM, begin with a presentation on astronomy topics in Gannett House, and end with a tour of the 24” reflecting telescope, followed by observing of Solar System and deep sky objects, whenever sky conditions permit. Reservations are required, and can be requested on this website. Groups larger than 6 require special permission. Contact tours director Carol Latta via email at email@example.com with special requests and questions.
Please, note that tour group sizes are limited to a maximum of 6 per reservation, and that total tour size will not exceed 25 persons on a given tour date. If the desired tour is full, you can request to be waitlisted for a tour, and will have a good chance of being asked to join the tour if the waitlist is fairly short. If cancellations occur, waitlisted guests will be asked to join the tour (in the order those requests occurred).
Also note that amateur astronomers from ASRAS operate the telescope at the Strasenburgh Planetarium every clear Saturday evening.
Request reservations for free tours at Mees Observatory here. There are 3 types of tours (Regular, Moon and Kids' - see descriptions above). Please be sure to select the correct tour type when selecting your desired tour.
IMPORTANT: To complete your reservation request, you MUST click the SUBMIT button at the bottom of the page.
If your request has been successfully processed, you will receive a confirming email the same day.
5/13 Update: Many tours are fully booked, although about 80 spots remain available. Getting on a waitlist, especially for tours that currently have no waitlist, also gives you an excellent chance to attend a tour. Cancellations regularly occur, allowing us to invite those from the WAITLIST to join the tour. So, if the tour you wish to attend is full, be sure to add your request to the waitlist. NOTE: Before making a waitlist request, check to see if the number of remaining spots for your desired tour is enough for your group. If so, request a reservation on this page instead.
Contact the Tours Director Carol Latta at firstname.lastname@example.org For more information about the observatory, go to : http://www.pas.rochester.edu/about/observatory.html