September 1 update: Our 2017 tour season has ended, after 25 successful tours. Check back at this website starting April 15, 2018 for dates of 2018 summer tours, and to make reservations. We regret that tours are not available during the September through May timeframe, as the observatory is used during that period by University of Rochester students and professors for classwork and research. Strasenburgh Planetarium and the Astronomy Section of the Rochester Academy of Science (ASRAS) offer learning and observing opportunities all year.

Thanks to all our tour guides and guests for a great summer season!

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 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 Full Moon Tours, with primary focus on the Moon. All tours begin at 8PM with a presentation in Gannett House on astronomy-related topics, appropriate to the specific tour (Regular, Kids’, Full 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.

Each tour is limited to 25 people; individual reservation requests are limited to 6 people; groups larger than that can request an exception by contacting Tours Director Carol Latta at cosmos@astro.rochester.edu. Reservation requests for Kids’ Tours must include children.

We expect that there will be 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