The Dearborn Observatory is open for public observing with the
historic 18.5" refracting telescope every Friday night from 8-10 pm.
The Friday sessions are open to anyone and there are two options for visiting:
8 to 9pm: One hour session by reservation only. Your group will be able to use the telescope for the full hour.
9 to 10pm: Walk-ins are welcome but space in the dome is limited. Therefore, there is no guarantee of getting to use the telescope if we are very crowded.
There is no charge for these Friday night events; however, we do require a refundable deposit for large group reservations. Additionally, the Dearborn Observatory is available for private viewing events on other evenings. Please call the Astronomy Department at (847) 491-7650 for more information or to place reservations.
(Click here for a map to the Dearborn Observatory)
All visitors should note the following information: the dome is neither heated nor air-conditioned. Please dress appropriately. Friday evening sessions are held “rain or shine.” During their visit, guests will receive a tour of the observatory and be able to view through the telescope, weather permitting. Sessions are usually hosted by Ph.D. students and/or undergraduate students majoring in physics and astronomy. Guests are encouraged to bring their own questions about astronomy.
Unfortunately, the Dearborn is NOT ADA-accessible. Several staircases must be climbed in order to reach the telescope.