Sat. Feb 24th, 2024
See the stars at Killarney's (updated!) observatory

Did you know that Killarney is one of only two provincial parks that has an observatory?

And the park’s observatory, which hosts a variety of astronomical programs throughout the summer, recently received an upgrade!

In spring 2018, the observatory in Killarney Provincial Park was upgraded to feature a new 16″ research grade telescope capable of full computer and smartphone control, and an attached 5″ refractor for exceptional astrophotography .


The original telescope is a Mease Cassegrain design with a manual mount. This makes it easy for beginners to get familiar with moving the telescope toward objects without worrying about confusing electronics.

In a park not far away…

Killarney’s summer astronomy programs include drop-in evenings with guest astronomers, as well as formal presentations and planetary walks.

Bill Gardner with Bruce Waters

Join a resident astronomer most Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays during the summer and fall to enjoy a variety of astronomy programs, ranging from daytime solar observing to nighttime planetary and stellar observing, and many presentations on a variety of topics!

What happens in cloudy or rainy conditions?

We do our best to adapt to the weather, and the resident astronomers are all specialists in different topics related to astronomy.

In cloudy conditions, our astronomers often give presentations on topics of interest instead of using telescopes.

Although cloudy conditions can make stargazing difficult, it is sometimes still possible to see the moon quite clearly.

See also  It's September: What are black bears doing in Ontario?

Of course, if it rains too much or if there is lightning in the air, we will have to cancel our programming. Under these conditions, signs notifying visitors of the cancellation will be posted at the program location, and we will also post them on our social media channels.

Is an astronomer’s residency day not available? You can still stargaze in Killarney!

Killarney Observatory

Did you know that you can observe the stars with a pair of binoculars?

You may not be able to see the level of detail that can be seen with a proper telescope, but the next time you are in the park on a clear night, try looking at the night sky through your binoculars!

Through a pair of binoculars, you’ll have a much better view of the moon’s surface or get a clearer view of your favorite constellation than with the naked eye.

Want a preview of what to look for on your visit?

Check out our “Eyes on the Skies” series, written by Bruce Waters, for highlights of the night sky.