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Rothney Astrophysical Observatory

Fac. of Science IT Support


Department of Physics and Astronomy

Mail Office
Science B 605
University of Calgary
2500 University Dr NW
Calgary, AB T2N 1N4 Canada
Tel: (403) 220-5385
Fax: 403) 289-3331

Undergrad Info:
Science B 605
(403) 220-8127

Rothney Astrophysical Observatory

The Rothney Astrophysical Observatory is a principal teaching and research facility of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Calgary. It houses:
  • Canada's most powerful domestic research telescope (the 1.8 meter diameter ARCT), the largest in the country that still operates under a dark night sky.
  • Canada's only telescope (the 0.5 meter diameter Baker-Nunn) that continuously searches the sky for so-called "killer asteroids" that could impact Earth.
  • A robotic telescope (the 0.4 meter Clark-Milone) which can be operated from a number of locations.
  • Canada's best-equipped astronomical teaching facility, including resources for teaching students to observe the sky with optical, infrared and radio wavelengths. Hands-on instruction in observing techniques and the opportunity to use research-grade telescopes is an integral part of the undergraduate astronomy curriculum.


The Rothney Astronomical Observatory's award-winning Interpretive Centre also offers exhibits and interactive displays on astronomy, space science and optics for:

  • School groups
  • Boy and girl scout clubs
  • Youth groups
  • Corporate or organization tours

Open Houses and Public Star-gazing

The Rothney opens its doors to the general public for observatory tours, talks by research staff on astronomy and the Universe, and evening star-watching on its observation deck during its popular Open Houses. The Open House events, which are essentially fantastic "star party's" take place on selected Saturday evenings from 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm through the year. For more event details see Rothney Astrophysical Observatory website

Get Involved

For location, current activites, and Open House schedules, see the Rothney Astrophysical Observatory Website.