Sherzer Observatory

Norbert Vance in the Sherzer Observatory.
Norbert Vance in the Sherzer Observatory.
Norbert Vance in the Sherzer Observatory.

Norbert Vance in the Sherzer Observatory.

The observatory in general has been open on clear Tuesday evenings beginning at 7:40 p.m.—after lab classes end— from September through April (academic year), and at select times during spring/summer terms (May through August). Note the current times below with Covid restrictions in place. The facility is operated by Physics and Astronomy staff and student volunteers from the EMU Astronomy Club. Additionally, observing sessions are performed by students in several of the astronomy courses on clear nights during the semester.

Fall 2021 Hours: Observing opportunities have understandably been limited per University COVID-19 guidelines. We have some virtual observing activities restricted to ongoing course work. For the most up-to-date information on events and open observing please check the Sherzer Observatory Facebook page.


The focal point of the observatory is the computer guided GEM mounted 10-inch  f/14 apochromatic (triple lens) refractor with a 4" apochromatic refractor guide scope that is housed in the main dome. A secondary dome contains an automated Celestron EdgeHD 9.25" SCT for digital imaging from a control station located below in 404 Sherzer, and several computerized telescopes that are used on our campus observation deck. Even larger aperture instruments are kept at EMU's Fish Lake Environmental Center near Lapeer, MI, under darker skies. In essence, students and staff have access to:

Additional Telescopes

  • Celestron 14" Schmidt-Cassegrain (C14) on CGEM/DX GEM (at FLEEC Fish Lake, Lapeer, MI)
  • Two Celestron 9.25" and five 8" NextStar GoTo Schmidt-Cassegrains
  • Orion 16" SkyQuest XX16 GoTo Truss Dobsonian (at FLEEC Fish Lake)
  • Two Orion 12" SkyQuest GoTo Newtonians
  • Several 8" and 10" Newtonians on Dobsonian mounts
  • Lunt 60mm .7A  Model LS60T solar H-alpha telescope
  • Coronado H-alpha and CaK solar scopes (at FLEEC Fish Lake)
  • Historically registered 4" Alvan Clark refractor circa 1878
  • 10" & 12.5" Newtonian telescopes (at FLEEC Fish Lake)
  • 18" Newtonian computer guided Dobsonian (at FLEEC Fish Lake) N. Vance telescope

Analysis equipment

  • Canon 60Da DSLR
  • Canon 20Da DSLR
  • Canon XSi DSLR
  • Canon TSi DSLR
  • ZWO all-sky/astro b&w and color CCDs
  • Orion StarShoot color CCD/autoguider
  • Celestron NightWatch color CCD
  • Stellacam II CCD video camera
  • SSP-5 PMT Photometer/USB interface
  • RSpec-Explorer spectroscopic telescope system
  • Daystar .6A & .7A H-alpha filters for 10-inch apo refractor and 8-inch SCT's
  • Lunt 60mm .7A LS60T  H-alpha solar telescope

For more information, please contact:

Norbert Vance , Observatory Director

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