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Awesome experience saw Saturn Moon and Jupiter

Great time and free. reserve in advance for Thurs and Fri. start off with history of the... read more

Reviewed August 9, 2019
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Many of my friends who live in Pittsburgh have not taken advantage of one of Pittsburgh's "national... read more

Reviewed July 31, 2019
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Reviewed May 25, 2018

My fiancee and I took one of the free summer tours the Observatory offers in the warmer months. It was one of the highlights of our stay in the city- fun, informative, and luckily it was a clear night so we saw the moon and two planets!

Our guides Kevin and Rob were the best. They explained the history of the building and the telescopes, context of what we were seeing, and tips for stargazing at home. They were very patient and answered many questions from the group.

I wonder if people are trying to keep this a secret here on TripAdvisor, so the Observatory tours and lectures don't book up even more in advance. But if you're coming to Pittsburgh from April to October, contact the Observatory to see if you can visit! It's a very enjoyable evening.

Date of experience: May 2018
5  Thank Christine W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 9, 2017

Whether you're into astronomy or not this is a unique chance to view the stars from one of the major astronomical research institutes of the world. Tours are free from April thru October but you need reservations.
We thoroughly enjoyed both the tour and public lecture and plan on returning often.
This is an experience you won't forget!!!

Date of experience: May 2017
3  Thank sue p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 10, 2017

I always wanted to look at the sky through a big telescope in an observatory and Allegheny Observatory delivered a terrific experience. Our guide was excellent and made complex ideas easy to understand. And the tour is FREE! Our guide was Eric Canali (I think) and he implied he would "knock our socks off." He did. The group of about 25 looked at the moon, Saturn, and Jupiter with its four moons. The observatory is beautiful architecturally but, sadly, needs restoration. There are many stairs and sometimes it is dark (necessary to star gaze) so wear sturdy shoes. An outstanding experience. My young adult children also enjoyed this. We learned lots about astronomers and history. Don't miss it.

Date of experience: June 2017
2  Thank Vincenzp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 10, 2016

Just four miles from Downtown Pittsburgh, the Allegheny Observatory is located in beautiful Riverview Park, seemingly world's away from the bustle of the city. A group of prominent Pittsburghers founded the precursor to the current observatory on Feb. 15, 1859 when they organized the American Telescope Association.
The Observatory has some illustrious directors which include Samuel Pierpont Langley, who later went on the head the Smithsonian, and John Brashear, the renowned astronomer and telescope lens maker. Important contributions to science that came from the observatory include proof that Saturn's rings are not solid but made up of a myriad of independent material, the mapping of sun spots and the establishment of standard time, a valuable invention for the railroads who were then able to synchronize their schedules across the country.
Free tours of the building are offered at 8 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays, April through October, and begin with a talk in the auditorium.The tour includes a look of the night sky (weather conditions permitting) through the Thaw 30-inch refractor. Forty-seven feet long with a moving mass of 8,000 pounds, the Thaw was designed and built by the Brashear Company for photographic use. From its start in 1914, the observatory photographic program has amassed more than 110,000 exposures on glass plates, making it one of the oldest and largest collections of its kind in the world.The tour also include a look at the 13-inch Fitz-Clark Refractor, constructed in 1861. Tour reservations are required by phoning 412-321-2400 between 1 and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Every third Friday of the month (except December) the Observatory offers a public lecture beginning at 7 p.m. with free refreshments. The one-hour long lectures begin at 7:30 p.m., followed by a tour

Date of experience: June 2016
7  Thank travelfreak31
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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