Bringing the wonders of the Universe to Earth for everyone.

The Adirondack Sky Center & Observatory

The Adirondack Sky Center & Observatory has become a recognized addition to the region's unique assets and named among the top 22 observatories to visit in America by Space Tourism Guide in 2022. 

The Adirondack Sky Center & Observatory rests at the crossroads of the Adirondack Mountains in Tupper Lake, NY and provides one of the best destinations for stargazing in the East. The combination of low-light pollution, low humidity and high altitude creates nearly ideal conditions for night sky viewing. It is here where the Adirondack Sky Center & Observatory (formerly the Adirondack Public Observatory) has been developing its following. "We're really an observatory for the people. I think our main goal is to bring the universe down to Earth for everyone to see and watch. People can be intimidated by the cosmos, especially with the images from the James Webb telescope coming down. But our purpose is to let everyone feel like they belong to the universe. We offer some of what the world really needs, perspective", noted Mr. McGowan. He continued, “Inspiring curiosity and providing perspective on our Universe through wonder and enlightenment is the goal of the Adirondack Sky Center & Observatory. Offering a variety of unique public stargazing opportunities, educational lectures, family-friendly events, and more, they are engaging with audiences of all ages.”

Public observing events are ongoing year-round and held as weather permits. The roll-off roof opens, allowing telescopes to search the skies with programs starting at designated times. Updates on sky conditions are announced via the Sky Center Facebook page as well as email for anybody wishing to sign up. Events are free and open to the public. 

Coming soon is a 60+ seat state-of-the-art digital planetarium with an attached multipurpose classroom/lecture hall/event venue. The addition of the planetarium to the already popular observatory will be a great addition to the community of Tupper Lake and the surrounding region.  

Work is already underway. Some excavation has been done on the property, and The Adirondack Sky Center & Observatory has contracted with Envision Architects to begin design of the new building. This year’s goal is to complete the process of Design Development and Schematic Design.  With sufficient funding, the construction could begin as early as 2024.  Mr. McGown says, “The pairing of the Wild Center's focus on the Adirondack wilderness, the Adirondack Sky Center & Observatory focus on "the wilderness above" will be a match made in the heavens.” 

At the Roll-Off-Roof-Observatory visitors are treated to a spectacular program that includes an opening that outlines the evening’s program, laser tour of the sky, live viewing of selected objects through one of the many high-powered telescopes, and a live high-resolution video feed of deep space right from the observatory. The evening is peppered with stories of the constellations, discussion about recent events in space exploration, and often the possibility of life in outer space. 

The programs are most often presented by founding members and amateur astronomers Marc Staves, Tim Moeller, Gordie Duval (retired Physics Teacher from the Tupper Lake Central School District), and Adirondack Sky Center & Observatory President Seth McGowan (retired Superintendent of the Tupper Lake Central School District.) Additionally, members of the Board of Trustees Dr. Aileen O’Donoghue (Professor of Physics, St. Lawrence University), Jeff Miller (Astronomer & Physics Laboratory Coordinator, St. Lawrence University), Dr. Joshua Thomas (Assistant Professor of Astronomy & Director of the Stull Observatory), and David Aguilar (Author and past Director of Science Information at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics) regularly present in person and online programs. 

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