Mills Observatory


The Mills Observatory in Dundee, Scotland, is the first purpose-built public astronomical observatory in the UK. Built in 1935, the observatory is classically styled in sandstone and has a distinctive 7 m dome, which houses a Victorian refracting telescope, a small planetarium, and display areas. The dome is one of two made from papier-mâché to survive in the UK, the other being at the Godlee Observatory.TelescopesThe main telescope is a 400mm Dobsonian reflector that was acquired in 2013. The observatory also houses a Victorian 0.25m Cooke refractor, with a focal length of 3.75 m. It was made in York in 1871 by Thomas Cooke and the optical components are of the highest quality. The telescope is actually older than the building. The dome also houses a 0.3m Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope, which was purchased in 2006. When the Mills Observatory opened on 28 October 1935, it originally housed a 450mm reflecting telescope, constructed by the Newcastle based company of Grubb Parsons. The dome itself is made of papier-mâché with a steel frame, and was also supplied by Grubb Parsons. Refracting telescopes have long been regarded as the superior instrument for planetary observing. During the winter evening hours, given clear sky conditions, the telescope is used to show the public the night sky.PlanetariumThe planetarium is based around a Viewlex Apollo projector, which simulates the night sky on a domed roof in a darkened room. Around 1000 stars are displayed, along with the naked eye planets and the Milky Way. Auxiliary units simulate a rotating galaxy, and provide pictures of astronomical objects. Seating is limited to 20 for public shows.


Glamis Rd
DD2 2


Be the first to know and let us send you an email when Mills Observatory posts news and promotions. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Contact The Museum

Send a message to Mills Observatory:

Nearby museums

Other Dundee museums

Show All