Photo taken at the Rothney Astrophysical Observatory.



  • An outdoor observation terrace where telescopes are used for undergraduate astronomy teaching and public outreach events. Telescopes include several 8-inch telescopes and a 14-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope. The 14-inch telescope is used with a computerized mount. Associated instrumentation includes self-guiding CCD cameras, white-light and H-alpha solar filters, and a spectrograph.
  • A 2,000 square foot multipurpose interpretative centre. It is a state-of-the-art workspace that serves as a lecture theatre and classroom. It is air conditioned and can comfortably accommodate 100 people. It is equipped with educational displays, four general purpose computers, one 40-inch touch screen computer, a 12-foot screen and data projector for presentations, video conferencing equipment and full internet capabilities. 
  • Classroom, laboratories, workshop, kitchen, shower and sleeping facilities.
  • Two microwave links to the internet; one line-of-sight link to the Earth Sciences building on campus and one provided by the Government of Alberta's Supernet program.
  • A terminal room with a number of Linux-based computers.

The 0.4 metre Clarke-Milone telescope.

0.4 metre Clarke-Milone telescope

The 0.5 metre Baker-Nunn telescope.

0.5 metre Baker-Nunn telescope

The 1.8 metre Sandy Cross telescope.

1.8 metre Sandy Cross telescope

The 3.3 metre radio telescope.

3.3 metre radio telescope

Students visit the RAO.

Friends of the Rothney Astrophysical Observatory

The Rothney Astrophysical Observatory is a vital part of the local community, acting as both a University of Calgary research facility and a public education institution. The observatory’s primary purpose is to provide support to science education in Alberta by providing a quality learning environment built on integrated teaching, research and creative activities. We remain committed to the needs of the community.

Our exhibits and programs create a stimulating experiential learning experience with an exhibit program that responds to the interests of our target audience. The observatory houses a collection of telescopes, technology and archival resources which are conserved, researched and interpreted for the  public and future generations of Albertans.

We are a not-for-profit organization and your financial support ensures we continue to offer science programming to school and youth groups. The University of Calgary charitable number is 108102864RR001.