Stull Observatory

Stull Observatory

  • Academic
  • Administration

Astronomy at Alfred University has a long history, dating back to the Civil War when the University purchased its first telescope, a 9-inch refractor made by Henry Fitz. Since the mid-1960s the observatory has expanded and grown. Dr. John Stull expanded and built many of the telescopes and buildings currently in use. Dr. David Toot, professor emeritus, was the second modern observatory director. Dr. Toot oversaw the modernization and installation of our newest telescope. The current director is Dr. Joshua Thomas, who will be implementing spectrographic capabilities to our facility. Stull Observatory is considered one of the finest teaching observatories in the United States.

About this Facility

In addition to the original 9-inch, f/13 refractor, the Stull Observatory now has a 6-inch heliostat, one 8-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain reflector for H-alpha solar observations and another for general use, a DFM 16-inch, f/8 RC-Cassegrain (computer-controlled), a 20-inch, f/5.5 manual newtonian, a 24-inch, f 6.5 computer-controlled Planewave CDK reflector, and a 32-inch, automatic f/4.5 newtonian.  We have a number of CCD and CMOS cameras. 

All the telescopes are capable of accepting imaging CCDs and CMOS cameras and are used for general imaging and time-series photometry of asteroids, variable stars, transiting exoplanets and more.

Visiting the Observatory

The Stull Observatory is open to the public on clear Friday nights from 9 to 11 p.m. in September, October, November, February, March and April. In May, June and July, it is open on Thursday nights from 10 p.m. to midnight.

For pre-recorded public viewing information, call 607-871-2270

For large groups, reservations are not required but are requested. For more information or to make group reservations, send an e-mail to or call 607-871-2208 during business hours.