Brooks Astronomical Observatory

A distant view of Brooks Hall Astronomical Observatory during the daytime.

Open houses

Fall 2023 Observatory Open houses will be held from 8-10 p.m. (Rain or Shine) on these dates:

  • Thursday, September 21, 2023
  • Monday, October 23, 2023
  • Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Constructed in 1964, Brooks Hall and the astronomical observatory located on its roof were named in honor of astronomy professor Kendall P. Brooks, who taught at Central Michigan University from 1910 until 1947.

Each year the facility serves nearly 500 students in introductory observational astronomy courses as well as a large number of individuals from the general public who attend regular observatory open house sessions.

Brooks Hall Astronomical Observatory includes a fully automated retractable dome that protects a 16-inch (40.6-cm) telescope used by faculty members and students each semester as part of their astronomy studies. Manufactured by DFM Engineering, the computer controlled Cassegrain reflector can be pointed to any place in the sky with very high accuracy along with interchangeable instruments optimized for either imaging or spectroscopic observations, or it can be used for basic visual observations.

Adjacent to the dome is an outdoor observation deck used for naked-eye or small-telescope viewing. Observatory open houses are normally held once a month throughout the year, whether cloudy or clear, beginning in the fall semester. Contact the CMU physics department at 989-774-3321 for a complete schedule of dates and times.