The Strasenburgh Planetarium has a 12 1/2" telescope on the roof that our club members operate on clear Saturday nights. Free! Climb the 60 stairs to the roof deck via the entrance to the tower next to the rear door of the planetarium.
Weekly update: Drats. We've been clouded out most of our recent Saturday nights, as Rochester often is in the winter time. But if we do catch a clear night, on Dec 14th, we'll have a 95% Moon, not the best time to see detail as it is too full. Dimmer deep sky objects like clusters and nebulae will be mostly obscured due to the bright moonlight even if clear. Jupiter will be making its appearance later the session, low in the eastern sky. Jupiter will get higher each week and be visible the whole winter.
Keep watching this site weekly for winter observing plans, which are highly dependent on temperature and wind as well as clouds. Often, we may put a scope at ground level, mainly for Jupiter, but not open on the roof, where the ice may not allow the observatory roof to open or observers to walk safely.
Unless at least mostly clear, we may not be open for observing. In winter time, most nights may be clouded out. Dimmer deep sky objects are only visible in fairly clear skies, so if in doubt:
Call the planetarium box office at 697-1945 after 7:15PM to confirm we're open. Or call Jim directly at 703-9876 if no answer at the box office.
Click the "more info" link to go to the Museum's website, but please believe the hours and dates posted here as they are updated weekly and are accurate!
The planetarium is part of the Rochester Museum and Science Center, on East Avenue at Goodman Street in downtown Rochester.
The telescope is on the roof, up 60 stairs. Use the parking lot behind the planetarium and the stair case to the scope is to the right before entering the back door of the planetarium.