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Outreach & Tours

The Allan I. Carswell Astronomical Observatory has been a prominent hub for science outreach to the broader community since 1969. Prior to the pandemic, about 5,000 visitors a year visited the Observatory for public viewing on Wednesday nights; online public viewing opportunities have increased for the time being and expanded engagement. Our most popular regular events are York Universe Radio Show on Monday nights, Online Public Viewing (that runs during the radio show), TeleTube YouTube shows on Wednesday nights, Public Observing and Group Tours.

Monday Nights: York Universe Radio Show and Online Public Viewing

Galaxy NGC 7331 about 40 million light-years away, captured on the 1-metre telescope

The York Universe Radio Show is broadcast on Monday nights 9-10 pm ET (except holidays) on Tune in every week for an exciting broadcast about astronomy, this week in history, and amazing interviews! Running simultaneously with York Universe is our Online Public Viewing on YouTube. You can tune in for live images from our telescopes (weather allowing), astronomical images, and chats with the Observatory student crew.

See below for our clickable York Universe Episode Archive, browse through time and space and have a listen to some of our previous shows! This archive was assembled by Rob Keown from and observatory members: 
  • Kasra Fard (code and system design)
  • Sorena Sharifzadeh, Arfa Ali, Mani Mehdipoor, Halima Mohamud, Obada Wazwaz, and Marianna Veltri (archive detectives)

Wednesday Nights: Live Public Viewing

Woman looking through the telescope at the York Observatory

The Observatory is open for in-person public viewing every Wednesday evening after sunset. Visit our homepage for tickets and times as the sunset will change throughout the year. Visitors are able to observe selected celestial objects in the presence of friendly staff and to engage in various hands-on presentations.

Online TeleTube Tours

Two students at the York U Observatory, one is taking notes, one is looking through the telescope

The Observatory hosts a live TeleTube tour on its YouTube channel on the last Friday of every month at 7:30 p.m. ET. This online viewing is followed by a Q&A session with the Observatory team. View our Archive of TeleTube Episodes.

Group Tours

Child looking through a telescope

The Observatory offers private tours for school groups, youth organizations, clubs, and large groups of interested individuals; these includes slide show presentations, tours of our facilities, live demonstrations and hands-on activities, and of course, viewing through the telescopes when conditions permit.

We also offer our tours and live demonstrations through Zoom to groups of 10 or more. Hands on activities may require print-outs or use of a computer screen.

Please contact us at to schedule a group tour.

Special Celestial Events

Child looking through a telescope

During special celestial events, like solar eclipses, planet alignments, meteor showers and more, the Observatory hosts public viewing events (in-person before the pandemic, but only online now due to COVID-19 restrictions). See our homepage for announcements.