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The Observatory exists primarily as a training and research environment for astronomy students at York University. A telescope and its instruments are the main tools of the trade for astronomers; our facility allows students to have first-hand experiences in learning to acquire, process, and interpret data.

Many of York's astronomy classes have observational projects as a part of the curriculum. Over the course of their degrees, students may find themselves determining solar rotation periods, classifying galaxies, and even detecting exoplanets with our Observatory.

The Observatory is also engaged in an ongoing observation campaign of certain variable stars. These observations are routinely collected, analyzed, and published by a team of students outside of class hours.

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