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Astronomical Observatory: Directions

Directions to the Calvin Observatory

Calvin map pointing to the Calvin Observatory

Driving directions

Walking directions from the West Parking Lot:

Red path to the science buildingStarting at west parking lot crosswalk near the large yellow and orange sculpture (see the “DeVries Hall” label on the map), take the paved walk between DeVries Hall and the Spoelhof College Center.  Rather than taking the long ramp directly up to the DeVries Hall / Science Building entrance, stay on ground level by taking the right fork and continue walking around the Science Building’s south and east sides until reaching a sign saying "North Hall." Enter the first double set of double glass doors (red arrow on map). Don't enter North Hall, but enter the stairwell door bearing a sign “Observatory, 4th Floor” immediately to your left. (GPS coordinates: approximately 85.58861 degrees west and 42.93126 degrees north, WGS84 map datum.) Then climb the stairway three flights to the roof level.

Entrance to North HallThere is an elevator from the ground floor to the third floor, leaving just the final flight of steps to the roof level. Until 10 PM it may be reached by going forty feet down the hall to the left, and turning right at the overhead sign "elevator". Exit the elevator corridor on 3rd floor, turning left to the stairwell door. Proceed up the final staircase to the observatory. The other doors should be open until 11 PM. If outer or lower stariwell door is locked, call 526-6435 or 526-8847 to speak to the observers on duty.

Entering the observatory dome: Use caution when entering the darkened area of the observatory itself, letting your eyes adjust to the dim red lights illuminating the dome interior and final stairway. Climb the steep metal stairs to the telescope and remain mindful of its location when moving about. Student helpers will assist you on the outer observing deck and at the main telescope.

Wheelchair access: Although the Calvin dome, constructed in 1969, is not accessible by wheelchair, we have portable telescopes. Viewing sessions will be arranged on request. Call the observatory director (Larry Molnar, 526-6341) to arrange time and place.


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