Detroit Observatory

  1. November 21, 2022

    Heritage Project — Vulcan’s muddy light

    Astronomer James Craig Watson was U-M’s “brightest son.” After discovering 22 asteroids between 1863-77, during a solar eclipse in 1878, Watson was sure he’d observed the rumored intra-mercurial planet Vulcan.

  2. March 30, 2022

    Detroit Observatory reopens with new educational potential

    After a three-year expansion project, the Detroit Observatory is ready for the U-M community and public to again explore the stars. An April 8 symposium will feature the observatory’s past, present and future.

  3. March 28, 2019

    Observatory to add multi-use classroom, improved accessibility

    The Board of Regents have approved design plans for a 7,000-square-foot addition to the 165-year-old Detroit Observatory, which served as U-M’s first scientific research laboratory. 

  4. February 15, 2018

    Regents approve underground addition in Detroit Observatory

    Plans to construct an underground addition in the Detroit Observatory have been approved by the Board of Regents. The $10 million project will provide program and support space.

  5. January 21, 2015

    U-M’s Vulcan searcher was the university’s ‘brightest son’

    James Craig Watson was U-M’s “brightest son.” That’s what President Henry Simmons Frieze said of the gifted 19th-century astronomer and Detroit Observatory director.

  6. June 23, 2014

    Observatory nights stir awe, sense of adventure

    Viewing nights at U-M’s Detroit Observatory allow visitors to experience stargazing the way they would have in the mid-19th century.