Rothney Astrophysical ObservatoryUniversity of Calgary
As the sun sets, the Rothney Astrophysical Observatory terrace comes alive under the night sky. The observatory site is intentionally kept dark to enhance celestial visibility. Space Night will feature access to an array of telescopes operated by University of Calgary astronomers and members of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada – Calgary Centre.
You will have the opportunity to look through the telescopes and astronomers will be on hand to answer questions. A small gift shop is available, offering packaged snacks, beverages, and merchandise during your exploration.
What to Expect on Site: Special events at the RAO feature talks inside the Interpretive Centre classroom and, on clear nights, guided sky observation sessions outdoors. Whether it's summer or winter, visitors are advised to dress warmly. Telescopes on the terrace and within the observatory buildings offer glimpses into the cosmos.
Preserving The Dark Sky:
To protect the pristine dark sky environment, flashlights are welcome, but red light is preferred as it does not interfere with telescopes and preserves night vision. Flash photography inside the domes or on the terrace is prohibited. The RAO is committed to maintaining a celestial haven, encouraging visitors to respect the darkness for an optimal stargazing experience.
Parking at the RAO is limited, and carpooling is encouraged. Follow the signs and, upon passing the cattle gate, approach the attendant who will check your tickets. Drive to the right at the fork, as the parking lot operates as a one-way system. The RAO team strives to provide a safe and enjoyable experience for all visitors, combining knowledge and wonder under the vast night sky.