Reminder: ALL visitors are required to wear a mask when visiting the RMSC, regardless of vaccination status.

Saturday Night Telescope Viewing

Saturday Night Telescope Viewing

Telescope Viewing at the Planetarium Observatory 

We're happy to announce that Saturday Night Telescope Viewing is BACK starting Saturday, July 17!

Join us on Saturday, July 17, from 9pm to 10:30pm to enjoy free telescope viewings (dependent on clear skies and good weather). The RMSC is excited to bring back this unique offering after being closed this past year.

Climb 60 steps at the back of the planetarium to view the sky through telescopes operated by knowledgeable volunteers from the Astronomy Section of the Rochester Academy of Science (ASRAS), the leading local astronomy club.

Before coming, please check the online events calendar of the Astronomy Section, Rochester Academy of Science, to confirm that the telescope is open.

The Volunteers Behind the Strasenburgh Planetarium Telescope

Every Saturday night, as many as 100 people come to view the heavens through a telescope at the Strasenburgh Planetarium, thanks to volunteers from our leading local astronomy club: the Astronomy Section of the Rochester Academy of Science (ASRAS).

This active, friendly group has facilitated free telescope viewing at RMSC since the early 1960s. Most viewing today takes place at the top of a flight of 60 steps at the back of the Planetarium, the permanent home of a 12.5-inch-diameter reflecting telescope operated by ASRAS members. Club members often add telescopes of their own, either up on the observation deck or down at ground level.

Even though city lights surround the Planetarium, the moon, planets, and bright star clusters are still visible.

“A real telescope is important so you can see these sites for yourself,” says Jim Seidewand, ASRAS director of telescope activities at the Planetarium. “If you had the chance, which would you rather do — see the Grand Canyon in person or look at pictures on a computer monitor?”

ASRAS members help us out in the daytime too, presenting activities and information in the Planetarium lobby or the Museum. 

ASRAS welcomes new members of all ages and experience levels. Monthly meetings take place at RIT or at the club’s dark-sky observing site, the Farash Center for Observational Astronomy in Ionia, New York. 

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