observatory at suny corning


The Observatory will be open on December 1 and 15, from 8:00pm - 10:00pm.  If it is clear, we will take out telescopes and look at some beautiful astronomical objects. We also give a tour of the facility, which includes the one-tenth scale model of the Hale Telescope at Mt. Palomar and images that we have taken with the telescopes on campus.    

Masks are not required indoors at this point in time.  No prior reservations are required, but if you have a group of greater than 10 people that you would like to bring to the observatory, call 607-962-9494 and leave a message with a phone number so we can return your call.   

Parking for the Observatory is available in the Digital Dome parking lot.  Parking at the Observatory is reserved for our visitors who require accessible parking.  All of our events are free and open to the public!


The James Webb Space Telescope and Cosmic Origins

Friday, December 1


Please join us at the Eileen Collins Observatory for a presentation by Dr. Keith Fisher on the James Webb Space Telescope.  The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is a revolutionary infrared observatory that was launched in 2023 by NASA, ESA and the CSA.  It is designed to study every phase of cosmic history, from the formation of the first stars and galaxies early in the history of the universe to the evolution of planets and life. 

This talk will focus on one of the main goals of the JWST, to explore the early universe, which is the period of time from the Big Bang until about 1 billion years after.  The JWST, because of its large mirror and sensitive detectors, can detect the faint light from the first stars and galaxies that emerged from the cosmic dark ages 100,000 to 200,000 years after the Big Bang. This light, emitted over 13 billion years ago, has been stretched by cosmic expansion into the infrared.  JWST’s sensitive infrared vision can detect this ancient light and reveal the secrets of the early universe.


We have many types and sizes of telescopes here at our Observatory. Our two largest telescopes are both reflectors — the 20" and the 16". Our 20" telescope is the one-tenth scale model of the Hale Telescope at Mount Palomar in California.

We have 14", 12", 10", 8", and 6" reflectors that were built by members of the Elmira-Corning Astronomical Society. We have 8" Schmidt-Cassegrain reflectors in addition to 4" refractors and a solar telescope.

Everything at the observatory is free and open to the public! 

Parking is available in the Planetarium parking lot. The only parking at the Observatory is reserved for our visitors requiring accessible parking. 



Deborah Dann, Director of the Observatory