The Detroit Observatory was built in 1854, and was the first scientific research facility at the University of Michigan and one of the oldest observatories of its type in the nation. It was designated a Michigan State Historic Site in 1958 and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.
Visitors have opportunities to observe the sky using Observatory telescopes. Inside the dome, the Fitz telescope provides wonderful views of the moon, planets, and stars. See Saturn’s rings, Jupiter’s moons, and the light from stars that have traveled for hundreds of years or longer.
Entry to the Observatory on Fridays, noon to 5:00 pm, is free and on a walk-in basis. Our docents and staff will be happy to guide you through the Observatory’s attractions.
Noon to 2:30 pm: we offer historical tours of the building and astronomical tours of the telescopes, with solar observing if weather permits.
2:30 pm to 5:30 pm: we offer historical walking tours of campus, as described below, and astronomical tours of the telescopes, with solar observing if weather permits.