East Road Observatory


The East Road Observatory, located approximately two miles south of the Gant Science Complex, was first established in the late 1970s. The facility was built by Physics department Professor Cynthia Peterson and Machinist Richard Mindek. Located far enough from the bright lights of Storrs, the observatory offers spectacular views of the Moon, binary star systems, and deep sky objects.

The observatory is managed by the UConn Department of Physics. Current initiatives focus on facility and accessibility upgrades, particularly the automation of the telescope and dome for remote operations.

The heart of the observatory is its 16" Schmidt-Cassegrain Model 117 telescope on a German equatorial mount. This telescope, manufactured in 1978 by Group 128 in Waltham, Massachusetts, is in incredible condition given its age and history.

After a period of inactivity starting in the early 1990s, the facility underwent substantial upgrades in 2023. This refurbishment was led by Assistant Professor in Residence Matt Guthrie, telescope designer Allen Hall, Physics Department Academic Assistant Dave Perry, and UConn Alum Dennis Perlot. The renovations included cleaning and repainting the facility, upgrading the mount with a computerized GoTo system, recoating the telescope optics, and redesigning the telescope body.

Currently, the observatory's primary functions are in supporting basic astrophotography and hosting private viewing events.

To schedule a viewing or for further inquiries, contact Matt Guthrie at guthrie@uconn.edu. Check the image below for the observatory's sky forecast over the next 3 days. Blue squares indicate favorable observating conditions, white squares are unfavorable.

sky forecast for UConn observatory