The Observatory



Observatory facilities at the University of Saskatchewan are available for use by both university students and visitors to the campus. The telescopes and other scientific equipment are used by university students during the laboratory component of their courses. University personnel regularly offer tours of the observatory to elementary and high school classes, youth groups and other community associations. The Observatory is staffed year-round on Saturday nights so that any visitor may view celestial objects through the telescope.

The campus observatory was constructed in two phases between 1928 and 1930, at a cost of approximately $23,000. University funding was supplemented by private donations. A plaque with the names of many donors still hangs inside the dome of the observatory. Saskatoon residents will find many of the names highly recognizable even today.

Saturday Open House

The Observatory is open year-round, free of charge, on Saturday nights so that any visitor may view celestial objects through the telescope. Visit the Hours Schedule for more info, or phone the Astronomy Information Line at (306) 966-6429 for other information. Parking Info >>

Tours

Tours for school and community groups can be arranged for a prepaid fee of $60 on most Sunday – Friday evenings. Phone (306) 966-6393 to book a tour. If you would like to arrange a special tour or wish any additional information on any astronomical question, phone Stan Shadick at (306) 966-6434 during office hours or email him - stan.shadick@usask.ca. Check out the photo tour in the GALLERY >>

Viewing

The observatory houses a 3 meter long refracting telescope with 6 inch diameter lens. On clear Saturday nights, staff will point the telescope at seasonal objects in the sky. Planets, nebulae, star clusters, galaxies, and even comets can be viewed at the right times of the year. On cloudy nights, staff present an educational slide show depicting objects in our solar system, galaxy, and beyond. The Observatory also features a small museum with a tour of our solar system. Exhibits also highlight the history and fundamentals of Astronomy, and there is even a display on black holes!

Star Adoption

Stars may be adopted at the U of S observatory by making a tax-deductible contribution payable to the University of Saskatchewan. Adoption rates depend upon the star’s apparent brightness and range in price from $50 to $1500. Your donation will help to purchase and maintain telescopes and facilities at the University of Saskatchewan and to hire personnel to conduct astronomy programs for the community. Please visit the observatory or the website for more details. MORE INFO >>

Hours

Month

Time

Day

January

7:00 - 9:30 pm

Saturdays

February

7:00 - 9:30 pm

Saturdays

March

8:00 - 10:30 pm

Saturdays

April

9:15 - 11:45 pm

Saturdays

May

9:15 - 11:45 pm

Saturdays

June

9:15 - 11:45 pm

Saturdays

July

9:15 - 11:45 pm

Saturdays

August

9:15 - 11:45 pm

Saturdays

September

8:30 - 11:00 pm

Saturdays

October

7:00 - 9:30 pm

Saturdays

November

7:00 - 9:30 pm

Saturdays

December

7:00 - 9:30 pm

Saturdays

Photo Tour

Tours for school and community groups are arranged free of charge for Friday evenings (October - March). Phone (306) 966-6393 to book a tour. Special tours for a $50 fee may be arranged during the summer months or on some other nights of the week or for special occasions.  If you would like to arrange a special tour or wish any additional information on any astronomical question, phone Stan Shadick at (306) 966-6434 during office hours or email him - stan.shadick@usask.ca

Parking

The Observatory is located on campus in Saskatoon, 1 block north of the intersection of Wiggins Avenue and College Drive. The University bus terminal is located across the street from the observatory. Pay parking is available in the lot immediately east of the observatory. 

Check out Campus Maps >>

Adopt a Star

Stars may be adopted at the U of S observatory by making a tax-deductible contribution payable to the University of Saskatchewan. Adoption rates depend upon the star's apparent brightness. 
Star adoptions make ideal gifts to:

  • honour a retiring colleague
  • wish someone a happy birthday
  • celebrate a young couple's wedding
  • commemorate a wedding anniversary
  • rejoice at a child's birth
  • give to somebody who has everything at Christmas
  • memorialize the passing of a close friend
  • give yourself and support our astronomy programs


You may pick your favorite star or leave the selection up to us. Prices vary depending on the star's brightness, ranging from $50 - $1500 per star.


Adopters will receive:

  • Adoption certificate stating the Adopter's name, star's name, and Donor's name.
  • Fact sheet about the adopted star
  • Star map illustrating the location of the adopted star
  • Constellation map showing the location of the adopted star's constellation

Please note that nobody can purchase an official star name or receive any official recognition through participation in any program including this Adopt-A-Star Fundraising Program at the University of Saskatchewan.

Donors will receive a tax-deductible receipt. (Charitable registration #119279313RR0001)

What do we do?

Observatory facilities at the University of Saskatchewan are available for use by both university students and visitors to the campus. The telescopes and other scientific equipment are used by university students during the laboratory component of their courses. University personnel regularly offer tours of the observatory to elementary and high school classes, youth groups and other community associations. The Observatory is staffed year-round on Saturday nights so that any visitor may view celestial objects through the telescope.

What will your donation support?

Astronomical equipment is expensive. Your donation will help to purchase and maintain telescopes and facilities at the University of Saskatchewan and to hire personnel to conduct astronomy programs for the community.

How to Adopt-A-Star

Stars may be adopted at the U of S observatory by making a tax-deductible contribution payable to the University of Saskatchewan. Adoption rates depend upon the star's apparent brightness as follows:

$1500 
First Magnitude Stars

(brightest stars with magnitude m ≤ 1.9)

$500 
Second Magnitude Stars

(very bright stars with magnitude 2.0 ≤ m ≤ 2.9)

$100 
Third Magnitude Stars

(bright stars with magnitude 3.0 ≤ m ≤ 3.9)

$50
Fourth Magnitude Stars 

(moderately bright stars with magnitude m ≥ 4.0)

If you have questions about the adoption process or wish to obtain the official magnitude of a star, email:stan.shadick@usask.ca or phone (306) 966-6434. Drop by the Observatory for Adoption Request Forms or phone (306) 966-6393 and request a form to be mailed to you.

You may also arrange to adopt a star online at the https://give.usask.ca/online/adoptastar.php webpage.