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. Approaching solstice, June 21, skies 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.

Wednesday, June 27   10pm-midnight 
See majestic Saturn, the Wow Planet", rise with the beautiful full moon at the observatory, weather permitting, (if clear). The ringed planet is a beautiful sight through the big refractor, that aspect best later in the evening when the planet is higher in the sky toward midnight. Jupiter and Venus will also be visible along with a number of summer time objects. Free!

In early August 2018, dates and times TBA here, we plan to have the observatory open at select times 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 1:30-2am DST! The reason > any planet opposite the Sun in the sky is highest at local solar midnight. Add Daylight Saving Time and longitude differences means Mars will be highest well after 1am DST.  Also, waiting a week or so afterward will not lessen the view. You'll see the Red Planet just peachy, if clear. Mars has a beautiful conjunction with the full moon the evening of July 27th when they both rise out of the SE sky after sunset. Look for the orange-yellow planet that evening for a great naked eye view.(Note: July 27, with closest approach to Earth on July 31, the observatory will be closed during these times).


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 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 .7 A H-alpha telescope

For more information, please contact: