Detroit Observatory

Detroit Observatory Built in Ann Arbor 1854, paid for by several Detroit Buisnessmen. This was the first major research facility at the University of Michigan. At the time of it's installation, the Fitz refactor was the third largest telescope in the world.
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For many years, the Meridian Circle telescope was used to set the railroad time for SE Michigan. Today, both the Fitz and the Meridian Circle telescope are in working order. On viewing Nights, the Fitz is available to the public to take a look through.

Operating as usual

Fall classes start on Monday! Get ready and show your Detroit Observatory pride with a DO, 1902 zoom background. There's...
08/27/2020
Do You Zoom? | Bentley Historical Library

Fall classes start on Monday! Get ready and show your Detroit Observatory pride with a DO, 1902 zoom background. There's a few other historic backgrounds there too, just to mix things up a big. https://bentley.umich.edu/news-events/news/do-you-zoom/
#tbt

The Bentley remains closed to the public and staff. We will be unable to respond to requests or fulfill orders until staff return to the building. Please see our full closure announcement here.

Have you been out enjoying the Perseids? It's not too late! though the peak has passed, you have about 2 more weeks to c...
08/13/2020

Have you been out enjoying the Perseids? It's not too late! though the peak has passed, you have about 2 more weeks to catch a few, though the number per hour drops to a few meteors per hour.
Comet Swift-Tuttle is the parent object for this meteor shower. It was discovered in 1862, and is among the first comets to be photographed. read more at https://www.esa.int/ESA_Multimedia/Images/2018/07/The_cautionary_tail_of_Comet_Swift_Tuttle
#tbt

Did you see comet NEOWISE?Now that it's fading, how about a look back at comet Donati of 1858. Determining its orbit was...
08/06/2020

Did you see comet NEOWISE?
Now that it's fading, how about a look back at comet Donati of 1858. Determining its orbit was one of the first major projects for the new Fitz telescope and the newly appointed "Assistant Observer" James Craig Watson.
The sketch is from a set distributed by the Harvard Observatory to other major astronomical observatories, including the Detroit Observatory.

ICYMI, we have a new website, and it's beautiful! You should check it out! https://detroitobservatory.umich.edu/
08/03/2020
Detroit Observatory | University of Michigan

ICYMI, we have a new website, and it's beautiful! You should check it out!
https://detroitobservatory.umich.edu/

The Detroit Observatory at the University of Michigan will welcome the public to viewing nights and more when we re-open in 2021. Built in 1854, the Observatory quickly became the cornerstone of research at the University of Michigan. Soon it will be a living laboratory that makes centuries of scien...

Missing the observatory? Check out our new website! https://detroitobservatory.umich.edu/
08/01/2020
Detroit Observatory | University of Michigan

Missing the observatory? Check out our new website! https://detroitobservatory.umich.edu/

The Detroit Observatory at the University of Michigan will welcome the public to viewing nights and more when we re-open in 2021. Built in 1854, the Observatory quickly became the cornerstone of research at the University of Michigan. Soon it will be a living laboratory that makes centuries of scien...

While the current renovations are happening, how about a look back to the late 90s, just after the last major renovation...
07/31/2020

While the current renovations are happening, how about a look back to the late 90s, just after the last major renovation, when the telescope was restored. It was so shiny!
Now if only they'd opened the dome... (not really, it's clearly broad daylight, but it really does look funny to have someone looking through the telescope at the dome.)

Opening up the Detroit Observatory to classes, and then to the public, was part of the U-M celebration of the Internatio...
07/23/2020

Opening up the Detroit Observatory to classes, and then to the public, was part of the U-M celebration of the International Year of Astronomy in 2009. Today's #tbt is another IYA event: Galileo's telescope at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. If you look carefully, you can see that light still passed through it, despite a noticeable sag in the tube.

One of my favorite pictures, taken on July 5, 2018. #tbt
07/09/2020

One of my favorite pictures, taken on July 5, 2018. #tbt

Moon over the Detroit Observatory, June 23, 2015 #tbt
06/25/2020

Moon over the Detroit Observatory, June 23, 2015 #tbt

The flowering cherry at the Detroit Observatory, from May 2019. #tbt
06/18/2020

The flowering cherry at the Detroit Observatory, from May 2019. #tbt

Just under a year ago, we put a modern CCD on the Fitz and took a bunch of measurements, prior to putting the telescope ...
05/28/2020

Just under a year ago, we put a modern CCD on the Fitz and took a bunch of measurements, prior to putting the telescope in storage before construction.
Of course, we still haven't processed that data!
#tbt

How about a #tbt with spring flowers! Back in 2015, our docent Stan brought his camera obscura to the observatory. I can...
05/14/2020

How about a #tbt with spring flowers! Back in 2015, our docent Stan brought his camera obscura to the observatory. I can totally believe people used to build these for entertainment.

Packed house and a shout-out to the Detroit observatory at the Mohler prize lecture tonight!
02/27/2020

Packed house and a shout-out to the Detroit observatory at the Mohler prize lecture tonight!

11/08/2019

Get your astronomy fix at Astronomy on Tap - Ann Arbor on Tuesday, 7 pm, Pizza House.

I just realized I forgot to post the pictures I took on Monday! 🤭
11/01/2019

I just realized I forgot to post the pictures I took on Monday! 🤭

Doesn’t look like much from the front, but from the side and back there’s a lot going on! Also, I wish I had a bit more ...
10/22/2019

Doesn’t look like much from the front, but from the side and back there’s a lot going on!
Also, I wish I had a bit more of that maple in the frame. It’s a beautiful maize with blue sky!

Such lovely weather today! I was finally able to get a good picture of the construction. They’re moving along!
10/07/2019

Such lovely weather today! I was finally able to get a good picture of the construction. They’re moving along!

09/27/2019

Construction has started in earnest!

Unfortunately I was on a bus, so the pictures I took were awful. I’ll try and get a good one next week.

The fence has gone up. It's really happening!! (Also, it's a really big fence - you'll have to go around Cousins or Alic...
08/15/2019

The fence has gone up. It's really happening!! (Also, it's a really big fence - you'll have to go around Cousins or Alice Lloyd for a while...)

Clearing me the trees made way for a sunflower! I have no other updates though, except that everything that could reason...
07/23/2019

Clearing me the trees made way for a sunflower!

I have no other updates though, except that everything that could reasonably be removed is safely in storage.

I've been cleaning up files lately, and came across some from the @AntiqueTelescopeSociety visit back in May 2009 and I ...
07/11/2019

I've been cleaning up files lately, and came across some from the @AntiqueTelescopeSociety visit back in May 2009 and I though hey, that would be good to share for #throwbackThursday!
Guess that means it's been 10 years since the transit 'scope was turned. Time sure flies!

Somehow, it seems very odd to be able to see the clerestory window from Palmer.
06/28/2019

Somehow, it seems very odd to be able to see the clerestory window from Palmer.

Kind of a grey morning yesterday.
06/25/2019

Kind of a grey morning yesterday.

The outside is ready for construction. Still a few last things to take care of inside, and not much time left to do it!
06/07/2019

The outside is ready for construction. Still a few last things to take care of inside, and not much time left to do it!

19th century meets 21st century.
06/01/2019

19th century meets 21st century.

I don’t know whether to be excited or sad! Clearing the way for new construction that will allow us to do so much more! ...
05/31/2019

I don’t know whether to be excited or sad!
Clearing the way for new construction that will allow us to do so much more! 🤩
But oh the lovely trees. 😭
Only on the back side though!

Michigan Astronomy
05/19/2019

Michigan Astronomy

Good night Detroit Observatory. We’ll see you in two years! #astronomy #umich #history #renovations #aurevoir @ Detroit Observatory

Michigan Astronomy
05/19/2019

Michigan Astronomy

One last look through the Fitz at Arcturus #astronomy #antiqueobservatory #renovations #umich #history

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1398 E Ann St
Ann Arbor, MI
48109-2051

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Comments

Hi, I'm having trouble finding your 2019 viewing nights on your website, do you have them scheduled?
Is the viewing on for tonight or canceled? Thanks!