Physics banner

Welcome to our observatory

The University of Aberdeen's observatory can be found at the top of Cromwell Tower in King's College quadrangle. It's called the Cromwell Tower Observatory, or CTO for short.

The present observatory was fitted out with its first set of modern refracting instruments in the 1860's. The instruments have now been relegated to our museum and in 2000 we began to refurbish the twin domes with up-to-date reflecting telescopes. After years in which the main use of the observatory has been meteorological, a program that will establish astronomical observations is being put together. The observatory is open through joint meetings of the Department of Physics and the Aberdeen Astronomical Society (AAS) or by special arrangement through the Department of Physics or the AAS Committee. Use Internet Explorer to look at the
AAS web-page.


The only telescope to have been under the domes in recent years has been a simple 8" reflecting telescope. This scope needs some attention before it can be used again. The observatory is now equipped with a new computerised 10" Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope. For more information on the new telescope and all its gadgetry see our telescope page. We have also be mounting an 8" Celestron belonging to ADAS on the North tower but further work needs to be done in up-dating the domes themselves.

If you're interested in experiencing some observational astronomy, then consider joining ADAS.

The re-furbished observatory is a new venture for all of us. It will be managed by the CTO user's group, steered from the Department of Physics.

The Cromwell Tower webcam (installed by Student Recruitment & Admissions) points North. You don't see much of the sky and it hasn't the sensitivity to shows stars but during the day you'll get an impression of the local weather.

History of the Cromwell Tower

Refurbishment of the observatory

The telescope

The gallery

CCD cameras

Using the telescopes and their accessories


Astronomy Course

Physics homepage

Initial Design by Tom McIvor and Elizabeth Henderson

Content: John S. Reid

Last updated Feb 2009