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. Two types of tours are offered: Kids’ and Regular tours. 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 Mark Minarich via email at firstname.lastname@example.org 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. As of May 7, many tours are fully booked. However, cancellations regularly occur. 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.
As of July 21, we advise against placing additional waitlist request, due to the already long lists. As cancellations occur, we will honor those requests in the order they were received. Instead, mark your calendars for 4/15/19, when we will open reservations for the 2019 tour season. Also note that amateur astronomers from ASRAS operate the telescope on the Strasenburgh Planetarium every clear Saturday evening.
Request reservations for free tours at Mees Observatory here. 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.
If the tour you wish to attend is full, be sure to add your request to the waitlist. Cancellations regularly occur, allowing us to invite those from the WAITLIST to join the tour.
NOTE : Before making a waitlist request, check to seeif 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 at email@example.com. For more information about the observatory, go to : http://www.pas.rochester.edu/about/observatory.html