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85° 24' 13"     +42° 54' 16"

The Grand Rapids Amateur Astronomical Association takes pride in its James C. Veen Observatory near Lowell, Michigan. The observatory, named after a co-founder and first president of GRAAA, is the crown jewel of the GRAAA. It is a fully equipped, multifaceted educational, research, and sky observing center housing three major telescopes: one easily operated with minimal experience, one suitable for advanced observing and astrophotography, and a fully robotic instrument for imaging and research. The Observatory also has a large meeting room, an extensive library, and an audio-visual system for presentations to both GRAAA members and the public.

The observatory was constructed primarily by GRAAA members over the course of five years, with support from community foundations and the Grand Rapids Public Museum. It became fully operational in 1970. The building consists of 2 Ash Domes, which contain a 16-inch Schmidt Cassegrain (West dome) and a 14-inch Schmidt Cassegrain (East dome). There is also a 17-inch Dobsonian located on the grounds for general viewing purposes, and a Lunt hydrogen-alpha telescope is available for solar observing.

All of the observatory's telescopes are available for use by GRAAA members (with some age-based restrictions) following an orientation class. Members are also encouraged to assist at Public Observing Nights at the Veen Observatory.


Find out when the Veen Observatory opens its doors to the public.

Important information and rules for anybody visiting the Veen Observatory.

Group tours of the James C. Veen Observatory are a wonderful learning opportunity.

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