Brooks Observatory

Brooks Observatory
University of Toledo
2801 W. Bancroft St.
Toledo, Ohio 43606
(419) 530-2650

Brooks Observatory atop McMaster Hall, University of Toledo - Photo by James Guilford
Brooks Observatory atop McMaster Hall, University of Toledo

The Brooks Observatory opened in 1987 at the University of Toledo. The observatory is operated by the Ritter Planetarium and is dedicated to public education. The 12-foot Ash Dome is in the center of a 25- by 50-foot observing deck which has an additional four observing piers for smaller semi-portable instruments, including two 10-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes. The facility is located on the roof of McMaster Hall. Most evening public planetarium programs are followed by observing at the Brooks Observatory, weather permitting. Depending on the seeing conditions, attendance, and astronomical events, the nightly observing schedule includes one to three objects. Observed objects have included all of the planets save Pluto, the Moon, comets, binary stars, and dozens of nebulae and galaxies.

Vintage Brashear Telescope of Brooks Observatory - by James Guilford
Vintage Brashear 6-Inch Telescope of Brooks Observatory – Retired 2015

In May 2015 the Brooks Observatory began a renovation and upgrade project. The vintage brass telescope was removed and placed in storage. The dome was removed and repainted and the observatory structure was somewhat shortened.

“The Helen and Elgin Brooks Observatory is located on the roof of McMaster Hall adjacent to Ritter Planetarium-Observatory. The facility opened in 1987 and is dedicated to undergraduate education and public outreach. In 2015 the historic Brashear refractor was retired and replaced with a new Celestron 14 Edge HD telescope mounted on a Paramount robotic mount under the 16 foot Ash dome. The facility also houses several small portable telescopes.”

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