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, first under the guidance of Dr. John Stull, professor emeritus of physics, and now under Dr. David Toot, the observatory has grown to such a size and stature that it is considered one of the finest teaching observatories in the United States.
In addition to the original 9-inch, f/13 refractor, the Stull Observatory now has a 6-inch heliostat, two 8-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain reflectors (one computer controlled); a 14-inch, f/6 newtonian reflector; a 16-inch, f/8 RC-Cassegrain (internet-controllable), a 20-inch, f/5.5 newtonian, and a 32-inch, automatic f/4.5 newtonian.
All the telescopes are capable of accepting imaging charge-coupled devices, as well as film cameras of either 35 mm or 4 x 5-inch formats. The site includes a small classroom, a computer room and a darkroom.
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.
Reservations are not required, but are requested for large groups. For more information or to make reservations, send an e-mail to Dr. David Toot or call 607.871.2208 during business hours.