The birthplace of modern astrophysics
Yerkes Observatory is a facility of the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics of the University of Chicago. It was established in 1897 on Geneva Lake in Williams Bay, Wisconsin. Until the mid-1960's, Yerkes Observatory housed all of the Department's activities. Today the 77-acre, park-like site in southeast Wisconsin provides laboratory space and access to telescopes for research and instruction.
Yerkes Observatory occupies a unique niche for the educational and the scientific community. It bridges several important perspectives in formal and informal education. The history of astronomy and astrophysics of the observatory is a solid foundation for introducing all the important topics in current research as well as the practice of observational astronomy. There is a huge range of opportunities for learning. Because of Yerkes' historical context, the world of professional and student astronomers and astronomy educators is drawn to the observatory. These communities learn from one another, build relationships, and create programs, which result in enriched experiences and learning opportunities for young and diverse members of our society.
Regular Saturday Tours
Yerkes Observatory is open for free public tours every Saturday throughout the year. Programs begin at 10:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., and Noon. We will be open for regular Saturday tours December 28 and January 4. Repairs on the northeast tower have not affected the regular Saturday tours. For more information, click here
New Weekday Tours
Tuesdays through Fridays, we offer daytime tours similar to those on Saturday, between 9:30 and Noon and 1:30 and 5:00 p.m. 30-minute tours for up to five people are $25, plus $5 per additional person. One-hour tours are $100. For information, or to schedule a tour, email: email@example.com or call 262-245-5555, extension 880. Be certain to include your cell telephone number and email address.
Observe through a Big Telescope
Throughout the year, weather permitting, Yerkes Observatory offers evening observing sessions for adults and kids aged twelve and up. Participants look at a variety of fascinating celestial objects through a large, modern 24-inch diameter telescope....more...
...Due to construction work on the 24" tower, observing has been suspended until further notice...
While we cannot for the foreseeable future use the 24-inch telescope, we are offering observing sessions with the South Building twelve-inch telescope. If you are interested, please write Dan Koehler at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Family Night Programs
Yerkes Observatory is offering Family Night Prograsm for students, with a parent, in grades 3-8. The program will run after school at Yerkes Observatory from 6:30pm to 8:00pm.
- Thursday, January 16, 2014 - Chasing Comets and Asteroids!
- Monday, February 17, 2014 - Galaxies Galore!
- Tuesday, March 11, 2014 - SOFIA with Sarah Scoles
- Monday, April 14, 2014 - Planet Searches and Imagining Aliens!
To learn more about these events and sign up, click here
Online and Face to Face Leader Skynet Junior Scholars Workshops
Online and Face to Face Leader Skynet Junior Scholars Workshops for 4-H leaders or informal educators who run a club or a museum program during out of school time for middle school or HS youth. Information and application are available here: http://www.gb.nrao.edu/sjsworkshop/
Yerkes Study Group (YSG)
The Yerkes Study Group was formed to explore the best use of Yerkes Observatory as a future site for a regional center for science education. To download the final report (pdf file) of the YSG click here