Observatory Activities

Located on the York University campus, the Allan I. Carswell Astronomical Observatory houses two large telescopes, primary mirror diameters for which are 40 cm and 60 cm. Both are equpped with state-of-the-art electronic cameras. The smaller of the two will soon be replaced by a telescope with a mirror 1 meter across, making it the largest telescope on a university campus in all of Canada. The Observatory is the hub of a wide variety of outreach activities.

Astronomy Public Outreach:

  • York University Observatory
    Located on the York U campus in Toronto, Canada, the observatory has both 40cm and  60cm wide telescopes and is an invaluable hands-on teaching facility in support of all undergraduate and graduate astronomy courses at York University, that engages in extensive public outreach. The public is welcome, as explained below.
  • Professor Paul Delaney
    You've seen him give countless TV appearances and heard him on even more radio interviews over the years! Professor Paul Delaney, astronomer at York U is a Star in his own right, who works extremely hard to educate the public about astronomy and to be a trusted authority to comment on significant space and astronomy events when the news media calls on him. Thank you Paul!
  • Monday Night Radio - "York Universe" Internet Radio Show
    Download and listen to selected interviews and segments featured on YorkUniverse (previously known as “Live From YorkU!”).  All archived audio clips are lower quality .mp3s between 5MB and 15MB in size.  Send us an e-mail if you’d like the high quality versions! also check out astronomy.fm & and our monday night online public viewing.
  • Wednesday Night Public Astronomy Viewing with the Telescopes
    The observatory welcomes public interest and highly promotes the field of astronomy to those who are interested. Our public viewing program runs all year round and is popular with the local and visiting communities. On public viewing nights, visitors are able to observe selected celestial objects in the presence of friendly staff, in addition to engaging in various on-hand presentations. The observatory is open regardless of weather conditions, even though viewing through the telescope is limited to clear skies. If it’s cloudy, drop in for a slide show and a tour featuring both of our telescopes.
  • Group Tours of the Astronomical Observatory
    The York University Observatory offers private tours for school groups, youth organizations, clubs, and large groups of interested individuals.  These can include slide show presentations, tours of our facilities, live demonstrations and hands-on activities, and of course, viewing through the telescopes when conditions permit.
  • Online Public Astronomy Viewing
    Monday nights, after the sun sets and the stars come out, we bring our online public viewing experience.  You can see live images from four telescopes/cameras and chat with the staff who will be more than happy to answer your questions.  Requests for objects to observe will be entertained