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“reach for the stars!”

Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter Observatory
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Victoria, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
104 reviews
68 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 118 helpful votes
“reach for the stars!”
Reviewed January 7, 2013

We have seen a lot while travelling across the U.S. but the Sky Center stargazing night was the most unique and memorable trip we ever took. It's not cheap but well worth every single penny. In fact I think it's actually a bargain considering what you get for your money.
We have been there on 12/12/12 which was not an ordinary stargazing night, there was meteorite showers at almost peak activity coincinding with new moon what made for a perfect dark night sky. The drive up the Catalina Highway is very scenic with a lot of awesome vista points. Make sure to plan some extra time for the drive up so you don't need to rush. On your way back the views of Tucson with all the twinkling lights are the final cherry on top.
After arrival we had a short introductory tour to the telescope and then received a lot of information in the Learning Center. Adam Block, one of the world's most renown astro photographers has a unique and entertaining way to explain the most complicated things, The dinner buffet was very good, I didn't expect anything like it. After sunset we headed for the telescope where Adam pointed out galaxies, planets with moons, tandem stars, several constellations, nebulae and more. When not looking through the telscope we could use the provided binoculars to scan the sky on our own. After an occasional metereorite here and there the "show" started after 9 pm. Literally hundreds of meteorites in a few hours. The 'ahs' and 'ohs' and 'wows' wouldn't stop. It wasn't before midnight when we wrapped it up. Most of the other people left earlier because they weren't properly prepared for the low temperatures. Bring layered warm clothes, you can change in the Learning center before heading out. We had three layers, warm boots, toques and a woolen blanket each. Keeping your feet and head warm is crucial.
We can recommend to go to the Skycenter in all respects and we will go again when visiting Tucson the next time.

Visited December 2012
Thank abceschweitzer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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230 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Fabulous, unique experience! Not to be missed. Go! You will be awed.”
Reviewed January 4, 2013 via mobile

This experience was amazing. Adam Block was a terrific and engaging tour leader. His ability to explain complex technical information in a lively, concrete, and accessible way will keep and pique the interest of astronomy buffs of all ages ( I took my 10 year old and he exclaimed that this was the best thing he'd ever seen--and he's seen a lot of cool stuff). If you do not have a huge interest in astronomy when you arrive, this experience is so good and so engaging that I guarantee you will develop an interest by the time you leave. We went during a special program in which along with learning about celestial bodies and seeing them through the telescope, we learned about the processes of taking photos of these objects too. What a special treat! If I could rate this experience more stars,I would.

Two things to note: pay attention to the warnings about how cold it is. It can be very cold at times. But if you wear lots of layers, you can adjust and you'll be fine. I wore what I'd wear on a very cold ski day (less the ski pants) and i was fine. Don't forget a hat, gloves, and scarf...just fill a backpack with items to keep you warm-- if you don't need everything, no harm... But if you do, you'll be toasty.

Second, Tucson can have more traffic than you'd expect and the mountain driving can be very slow because it is mostly a one lane road. it is an hour at least from the base of the mountain--but the base of the mountain can be 40 minutes from parts of Tucson so leave plenty of time to get there on time.

Truly a not to be missed experience! Well worth the money and time.

Thank pansburg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
1 review
“Best thing to do in Tucson”
Reviewed December 29, 2012

What an incredible adventure!!! Adam Block, a world renowned astrophotographer ran our tour. He is so passionate about astronomy and he is an amazing teacher. This was a 5 hour program which included a mini lecture about the universe, a beautiful photo session of the sunset from the top of Mt Lemon, a light dinner, and then stargazing thru a 32 inch telescope. Everyone gets a chance to view thru the eyepiece. We had 21 people total on the tour. Adam and his assistant Dale, made sure we were comfortable and well taken care of. Much of the program is outdoors at night so be sure to dress warmly if doing the program in the winter months. We did the program with our teenage children and they absolutely loved it. Do not miss this one!!!!

Visited December 2012
Thank David P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Anaheim, California
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Great for Star Gazers”
Reviewed December 9, 2012

This is at a great location to see the Stars, and learn many things about our Galaxy. plus the surroundings are pleasant to see.

Visited October 2012
Thank Rick S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami, Florida
Level 5 Contributor
56 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed December 5, 2012

The drive up the mountain is a nice trip on its own. The view of the sunset up there was spectacular. Mike did a great job of hosting us and made us all feel welcome. They supplied us with a nice meal, hot coffee, binoculars and even a small red flash-lite. The views from the Telescope were amazing. Don't miss this.

Visited November 2012
Thank RickSFlorida
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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