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Stargazing in the Finger Lakes

Despite the fact that the Finger Lakes gets more cloud cover than any place in the United States except for Seattle, Washington, there is a strong interest in the Finger Lakes in astronomy, space exploration, and star gazing. Many nights, especially the clear, cold nights of winter, are ideal for star gazing.


If you don't have your own telescope, take advantage of the three observatories listed below. To learn more about the universe, the solar systems, and the stars, planets, and other elements that make up our universe, visit the three planetariums listed below.


C.E.K. Mees Observatory

University of Rochester

6604 S. Gannett Hill Rd.

Naples, NY 14512


Eileen Collins Observatory

See below

Fuertes Observatory

Cornell University

Cradit Farm Dr.

Ithaca, NY 14853


Southern Cayuga Central Schools

See below


Corning Community College Planetarium/Eileen Collins Observatory

1 Academic Dr.

Corning, NY 14830


Open to the public the first and third Friday evening of every month. Shows, use of the observatory. Admission charged.

The Dr. and Mrs. Herbert J. Silverman Planetarium

Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science and Technology (MOST)

500 S. Franklin St.

Syracuse, NY 13202


Southern Cayuga Central Schools Atmospherium-Planetarium

2384 State Rt. 34B

Aurora, NY 13026


This small, rural school district has a program of which it is justifiably proud. Its atmospherium-planetarium and its observatory are located on the school district's campus (campus map) and offer programs with speakers and observations when the sky is clear. Free and open to the public.

Strasenburg Planetarium

657 East Ave.

Rochester, NY 14607



Biography of Astronaut Eileen Collins

Carl Sagan Planet Walk

A unique, educational monument to Carl Sagan, well-known and respected resident of Ithaca, Cornell University professor of astronomy and space sciences, and director of the Laboratory for Planetary Studies. Dedicated on November 8, 1997, this outdoor, terrestrial ¾-mile scale model of our solar has ten stations, representing the sun and its nine planets. (Well, it was nine planets when the Walk was built.) The Planet Walk begins with the sun at the center of the Commons in downtown Ithaca, running north to the Sciencenter 1.2 km away. Educational souvenir guidebook available. Map.

Astronomy Program at the Centers for Nature Education

Learn about the stars and the planets with the help of the Centers' resident astronomer and his Celestron telescopes. This is a drop-in program for both children and adults. See the Centers' Web site for more specific program details. 








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