William D. McDowell Observatory
The William D. McDowell Observatory is open for free public viewing every Wednesday evening, weather permitting. Observatory hours change with the seasons. View schedule.
The state-of-the-art Observatory features a research-grade, Classical-Cassegrain telescope housed within a six-meter retractable dome with a 20-inch mirror and is capable of viewing objects millions of light years away. The Observatory is operated by astronomers from Bergen Community College.
The telescope has several special filters designed to help minimize the effects of the area’s light pollution. The precision instrument also includes specialized cameras to photograph various astronomical objects, a photometer to measure the brightness of stars and study how they vary over time, and a spectroscope to analyze wavelengths of light to determine the chemical composition of light-emitting objects.
Note: In order to access the observatory telescope, a visitor must be able to climb 25 steps in a spiral formation.