Ritter Planetarium and Brooks Observatory

Our Observatories

The Brooks Observatory-Renovations Begin May 2015!

During Renovations Brooks Observatory will be closed to the public.

Brooks Telescope

The Brooks Observatory at the University of Toledo will be closed effective April 25, 2015 for approximately four months for renovations. The venerable six-inch Brashear refracting telescope will be placed in storage and replaced by a new Celestron 14 Edge HD. In order to accommodate this new instrument, the observatory building on top of McMaster Hall will have to be significantly modified. Funding for this project includes support from the College of Natural Science and Mathematics as well as an endowment establish by the late Helen and Elgin Brooks. 

The new facility will be a state of the art instructional observatory that will continue the mission of undergraduate education and public outreach. New undergraduate laboratory exercises will be developed, and more public observing opportunities will be scheduled once work is completed.

During the renovations, the Ritter Observatory will be open to the public on the first Friday night of each month immediately after the 8:30 PM planetarium program.

The Ritter Observatory


Ritter 1mRitter Observatory was built in 1967 and houses a 1-meter Ritchey-Chretien reflecting telescope. It is the largest optical telescope in Ohio East of the Mississippi. Instrumentation including a low/moderate resolution spectrograph, a high-resolution echelle spectrograph, and two CCD cameras are used in conjunction with the telescope. 

The observatory is used mainly by department faculty, graduate and undergraduate students for research, however, on the first Friday of every month, after the evening planetarium program,  the telescope is open to the public and is available for viewing the sky, weather permitting.

Last Updated: 6/26/15