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
The York Universe Radio Show is broadcast on Monday nights 9-10 pm ET (except holidays) on astronomy.fm. 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.
- 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 and Online TeleTube Tours
Prior to the pandemic, the Observatory was open for in-person public viewing every Wednesday night. Visitors were able to observe selected celestial objects in the presence of friendly staff and to engage in various hands-on presentations.
However, due to COVID restrictions, in-person public viewing is only available a few days each month. See our homepage for dates.
In the absence of weekly in-person public viewings, the Observatory hosts a live TeleTube tour on its YouTube channel every Wednesday night at 7:30 pm. This online version of public viewing is followed by a Q&A session with the Observatory team. View our Archive of TeleTube Episodes.
Prior to the pandemic, the Observatory offered private tours for school groups, youth organizations, clubs, and large groups of interested individuals; these included slide show presentations, tours of our facilities, live demonstrations and hands-on activities, and of course, viewing through the telescopes when conditions permit.
These in-person tours have been paused. In the meantime, we 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 email@example.com to schedule an online tour.
Special Celestial Events
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.