10/6/2020: As with everything else in 2020, the corona virus pandemic made it impossible to host Mees Observatory summer tours in 2020. At this time, and for the foreseeable future, the University of Rochester continues to function with all necessary safety precautions in all its facilities and programs, to minimize exposure to the virus. The nature of summer tours involves close contact among hosts and guests, and the use of shared observing equipment, which are all high-risk activities. Thus, at this time, we have no outlook for when summer tours can be resumed. Those of us who take great satisfaction and pride in hosting summer tours miss sharing the Observatory and all it offers with you, as much as we imagine you miss us and the Mees Observatory experience.

For additional information about the protocols in place at Mees Observatory due to COVID-19, go to http://www.pas.rochester.edu/~dmw/Mees/Mees_COVID-19_protocol.pdf


Please check back on April 15, 2021 for the most current information about summer tours for 2021.

Information about tours, as offered in normal years, follows> 

University of Rochester’s Department of Physics and Astronomy offers free public tours of Mees Observatory (in the beautiful Bristol Hills) on selected Friday and Saturday evenings (and an occasional weeknight) during June, July and August. Tour guides for these events are UR undergraduate and graduate students, as well as members of Rochester’s astronomy club, the Astronomy Section of the Rochester Academy of Science, all of whom love sharing their astronomy knowledge and expertise.

Three types of tours are offered: Regular tours, for adults and older children; Kids’ tours, for children up to age 12 and the adults who accompany them; and Moon Tours, with primary focus on the waxing Moon. All tours begin at 8PM with a presentation in Gannett House on astronomy-related topics, appropriate to the specific tour (Regular, Kids’, Moon). Guests are then invited on a tour of the observatory and its 24” reflecting telescope, and offered observing of Solar System and Deep Sky objects, if sky conditions allow. On clear nights, the skies at Mees Observatory are exceptionally good for telescope observing. Tours typically wrap up by 11PM or so.

Reservation requests are limited to 6 people; groups larger than that can request an exception by contacting Tours Director Carol Latta at cosmos@astro.pas.rochester.edu    Reservation requests for Kids’ Tours must include children.

We typically receive many more requests than we are able to accommodate; so it is vital that those with reservations reconfirm them a week prior to their tour, and give adequate notice of cancellation so that waitlisted guests can be invited to join the tour.

The address of Mees Observatory is:
C. E. Kenneth Mees Observatory, 6604 East Gannett Hill Road, Naples NY 14512

Mees inside the dome