UPDATE (13 August) ON OUR CLOSURE. We really, really, really hate to say this again, but Northwestern has extended the cancellations of all visitors through the end of the year. The soonest that the Dearborn might re-open to the public would be January, 2021. If you have a reservation scheduled prior to January 2021, we will be reaching out to you to reschedule. Unfortunately, we have no further information about when we will be able to re-open. Fingers crossed that we'll be able to see you in January!
At this time, we are not taking any reservations until the new year. Our next availability for reservations is January, 8th, which is subject to change with COVID-19 regulations.
- 8:00 - 9:00 pm: Reservation hour only. Reservation requests received after 2 PM the day of may not be processed.
Your group will have a tour of the Observatory, and be able to look through the telescope.
Online Reservation Form
- 9:00 - 10:00 pm: Walk-ins welcome.
We try to allow everyone at least one opportunity to look through the telescope, but space is limited and there is no guarantee that everyone will be able to look through the telescope if we are very crowded.
There is no fee for the Friday night observation hour, however, if you make a reservation for a group of 10 or more we require a refundable deposit which will be returned to you on the night of your visit. If you have questions or need information about viewing, please call Peri Drury at 847-491-7650. If you would like to make a reservation, please use the online reservation form.
Please be advised that the dome does not have heat or air conditioning so please dress appropriately. Friday night tours are held "rain or shine," although of course cloud cover affects viewing. Tours are hosted by Ph.D. students and/or undergraduate students majoring in Physics & Astronomy. Visitors are encouraged to ask questions.
Unfortunately, the Dearborn Observatory is NOT ADA-accessible. Several staircases must be climbed in order to reach the telescope.
Dearborn Observatory Address:
2131 Tech Drive
Evanston IL, 60208
CIERA Astronomer Evenings
CIERA Astronomer Evenings are special programs that take place on the last Friday of the month at the observatory. Meet astronomers from Northwestern’s Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics. Different experts host each month and are available to answer your astronomy questions. The evenings include a 10-minute introduction to a topic, followed by an open Q&A session and interactive demonstrations. Stop by any time during the two-hour public observing window. Children are welcome. The talks are free and open to all. No reservation is needed.Back to top