Eastern Michigan University
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Sherzer ObservatoryVance with 10" apo

The observatory is open on clear  Tuesday evenings following student Astronomy Club meetings that begin at 7:30pm in Room 402 Sherzer from September through April (academic year) following Astronomy Club meetings, and at select times during spring/summer terms (May through August). See below. It is operated by Physics & 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.

Summer 2018 Hours: We are open only on select evenings during Summer 2018 for observations (note special Mars observation sessions below). Leaving solstice behind back on June 21, skies still do not darken until after 10pm! A quick check of the observatory phone at 734.487.3033 may verify if we are observing on a particular evening. The observatory follows all University holidays and closures. For the most up-to-date information on events and open observing please check the Sherzer Observatory Facebook page.

Sherzer Observatory Mars Observing has been scheduled on any of four CLEAR evenings from Monday, August 6 through Thursday, August 9 from 10 p.m. to midnight – IF CLEAR –  to enjoy great views of Mars which will have just passed its closest approach to Earth since the great opposition of 2003! Keep in mind that even at true opposition, July 27th,  Mars will not be highest in the southern sky for best views until 1:30–2 a.m. DST! The reason >>> any planet opposite the Sun rises at sunset, sets at sunrise, and most importantly, is highest in the sky therefore best viewed at local solar midnight. Add Daylight Saving Time and longitude differences means Mars will be highest well after 1am DST! Yes, sorry about that but tis the way things go for us, too. How inconvenient. But, keep in mind, waiting a week or so after opposition will not lessen the view.  Important Update: Mars often suffers planet wide dust storms when it reaches its orbital "sweet spot", perihelion. As of mid-July that is indeed the case. The planet has been shrouded by reddish dust rendering dark markings and polar ice caps nearly invisible for the past few weeks.  Telescopically, the planet appears as an orange disk with little of the detail we hope to clearly see.  That said, you are welcome to witness such storms and the effect they have on the planet and the probes scouring its surface.  Mars is certainly hard to miss as the brightest yellow-orange object dominating the southern sky around midnight this summer! We won't forget checking out Jupiter and Saturn, plus some other summer evening objects while open.    Weather Update:   the observatory will be open tonight, Monday, Aug 13 after 9pm, if clear- Weather Underground forecast is "partly cloudy to mostly clear"


The focal point of the observatory is the 10" f/14 apochromatic 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, and several computerized telescopes are used on our observation deck. In essence, students and staff have access to:


  • Celestron 14" Schmidt-Cassegrain on CGEM/DX GEM (at FLEEC Fish Lake, Lapeer, MI)
  • Celestron 9.25" and 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
  • 10" & 12.5" Newtonian telescopes (at FLEEC Fish Lake)
Analysis equipment
  • Canon 60Da DSLR
  • Canon 20Da DSLR
  • Canon XSi DSLR
  • Canon TSi DSLR
  • ZWO all-sky/astro CCD
  • Orion StarShoot color CCD
  • Celestron NightWatch color CCD
  • Stellacam II CCD video camera
  • SSP-5 PMT Photometer
  • RSpec-Explorer spectroscopic telescope system
  • Daystar .6A & .7A H-alpha filters for 10-inch apo and 8" SCT's
  • Lunt 60mm .7A LS60T  H-alpha solar telescope

For more information, please contact: