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Observatory / Visit Us

Come see the stars! Our observatory is located on the roof of Calvin University’s Science Building. Our hours vary depending on the time of year, but during Calvin’s school semester, we’re open on weather-permitting Monday-Thursday nights.


Our observatory is open to the public on clear Wednesday evenings throughout the year, excluding the last two weeks of December. Larger groups should call observatory director Larry Molnar (616-526-6341) in advance. To confirm that the observatory is open, call the observatory directly (616-526-6435).

Semester hours
  • Students: Clear Monday-Thursday nights
  • General Public: Clear Wednesday nights
  • 7:30 p.m./30 minutes after sunset (whichever comes later)-11 p.m.
January hours
  • Students and General Public: Clear Wednesday nights
  • 7:30 p.m.-11 p.m.
Summer hours
  • Students and General Public: Clear Wednesday nights
  • Thirty minutes after sunset-12 a.m.
Christmas break

Observatory closed


  • After parking at lot 4, follow the red path to find the observatory entrance.
  • Entrance to North Hall
Parking and walking directions
  1. For the best parking, go to Lot 4, the parking lot next to DeVries Hall and the Spoelhof University Center.
  2. Take the path into campus by the large yellow and orange sculpture (also known as The Cheese). Instead of taking the ramp, stay on ground level by taking the right fork. Continue looping around the Science Building until you reach a sign that says "North Hall."
  3. Enter the first set of double glass doors (red arrow on map).
    • Instead of entering the second set of glass doors, go through the door on the left. On observing nights, this stairwell is usually marked with a magnetic sign.
  4. Climb the three flights to the roof, or take the elevator up the first few flights of stairs. To find the elevator, follow the instructions in the next section.
    • The other doors should be open until 11 p.m. If the outer or lower stairwell door is locked, call the observatory at (616) 526-6435 or (616) 526-8847.
Finding the elevator

There is an elevator from the ground floor to the third floor, leaving just the final flight of steps to the roof level.

  1. Go 40 feet down the hall to the left, then turn right at the overhead elevator sign.
  2. Exit the elevator corridor on the third floor, turning left to the stairwell door.
  3. Go up the final staircase to the observatory.
Entering the dome

When entering the dome, let your eyes adjust to the darkened room. Red lights illuminate the dome interior and final stairway. Climb the metal stairs to the telescope and be aware of its location when moving around the dome. Student helpers will help you at the main telescope and on the outer observing deck.


Although Calvin’s dome, constructed in 1969, is not accessible by wheelchair, we have portable telescopes. Viewing sessions can be arranged on request. Call the observatory director Larry Molnar (616-526-6341) to make arrangements.


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