Thursday, 12 December 2019
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Observatory now taking advanced bookings:  

Book your tour in advance for as few as 1 or as many as 50.  The more people in your tour the less the cost per person.  Prices start at $75 for tours.  See the Accessing Observatory section for more details.

Note the observatory is not usually open for last minute tours.  Most tours are reserved from 5 days to 3 months in advance. 


BOOK YOUR PRIVATE TOUR as low as $2/person

Take advantage of the best time of the year to enjoy astronomy, NOW!!!  Jan - April each year.  Its dark early, the sky is usually clear, the seeing conditions are normally at their best!
Private tours come in all shapes and sizes, full tours with lectures, educational talks and slide shows (100's to pic from) and views of the best of my 25,000 images I have take over the last 13 year, private workshops, training, or just a intimate deep sky photography session with you and your family.

Bookings enable you to have a private block of time at the observatory.  Prices Start as low as $75 and you can bring 30 people or more to your tour.   If your group is small, and you want to share your tour with others, I can arrange that also.  If you can find a more affordable family or group activity please let me know.   Coffee and Hot Chocolate along with treats and handouts included in most tours also.  If your interested, you can photograph nebulas and galaxies during your visit and take the pictures home with you.

Those that prepay for the group tour, get a discount and a lifetime pass to use the tour, in case its cloudy the night of your tour.

The observatory is 15 minutes south of the city, and far enough away from the light pollution of the industrial/commercial and residentials areas (Airport, Paper Mill, Street Lights) to provide the darkest skies.   



13th Season Underway:

Observatory is now taking bookings for small and large groups for after Labour Day.  Last years prices in affect for groups that book in next few weeks.

INTRO to Astronomy and Astro-photography Workshops 

 UPDATE: The very odd spring and lack of clear skies has delayed this workshop until August / Sept.  Sorry folks, I've been waiting for Spring to arrive, the sky to clear and the ground to dry up.  This endless winter is making things difficult to work around.  As soon as we get some stable air I will contact those that have shown interest.

I've been asked lately by a few visitors if I could hold another round of workshops around Astronomy and Introduction to Astro-photography.  I want to gauge interest and start compiling of list of people that might be interested in participating.  The workshops usually run one or two Sunday evenings a month, for about 8 workshops in all.  The workshops start with basic astronomy, basics on telescopes and camera equipment and then expand into more advanced subjects.  Each module runs about 3 hours and is hands on at the observatory.  

The cost is $20 / module or if you have 2 people its $30/ module for 2 people.

By the end you should be able to operate telescope, find objects, centre, focus, and photograph very faint galaxies and nebulas.  You will then be able to process the images after you captured them to publish quality.


Come see the universe from an amazing Dark Sky

RSVP to reserve your spot, send email to Astrorandy(@)

Dark Sky at Observatory 

Image Taken Aug 2012 at observatory

Thunder Bay Observatory is located 10 minutes south of the City of Thunder Bay.      This location was selected for its amazing dark and light pollution free sky conditions (see picture above).   The observatory site is also located on a mountain range that provides clear skies as the humidity and other atmospheric affects settle in the low laying areas.  At this location, using the high end professional Telescope and Scientific Camera equipment you will be able to photograph objects 1,000,000 times fainter then the human eye can see.

1000's of people from local and all over the world have been amazed by the views at the observatory over the last 10 years.  Its in a constant state of growth.  Currently we have 4 telescopes, and 5 cameras on site, along with the 70 seat multi-screen Cosmic Theater.  Visitors can have amazing views live at the telescope, in the Theater or take images home with them.

For Information on how your entire family can enjoy  VISITING THE OBSERVATORY for only $10 see "Accessing Observatory" section on the left side menu


Light Pollution Map below shows how just getting 10 minutes from city limits can cut out 90% of the light pollution.   We are very fortunate to have dark skies just 10 kms away,  Unfortunately, most of the observatories I have seen are located in light polluted skies ( I have visted over 10 North American observatories)

 Light Pollution Map by Google



Updates PDF Print E-mail

2012- Launch: COSMIC THEATER
A New Multiscreen - Mini Planetarium

As part of my upgrades for the coming season I have now created a large multi-screen theater I'm calling the COSMIC THEATER.  The equipment is all installed an I'm just putting the finishing touches on the first few shows.

New Cosmic Theater  

This new 70 seat planetarium like Cosmic Theater will give visitors participating in Full Tours / special events, amazing views of the cosmos.  We now boast almost 25,000 square inches / 30 feet of High Def screens for your viewing pleasure. This is a one of a kind system that developed by me, and well worth the visit.  Currently new content "Cosmic Tour Programs" are in development for the coming year for this new system. 




If you are interested in booking the Observatory for a group, please email the following to Astrorandy(at)  NOTE: Many voice messages have been automatically deleted by the system before I was able to retrieve them, sorry for the inconvience.

Here's some information to help you with your booking request.

WHEN TO COME:  The best time of the month to book the observatory is either during a young moon (3 days old to around the 1st quarter)  this provides a nice view of the moon but the moon is not too bright that it reduces the views of dimmer objects.  The next best time is the period of no moon.  This occurs starting 4 or 5 days after the full moon and runs for 2 weeks.  Also when Considering when you want to book your tour, is the time of day or the "sitting".  During peak season, two group seatings are available.  School groups generally book the early bookings from October to Feb.   Here are some options to consider:

September                 Early booking:  8pm,        Late booking 10:30pm

October                      Early booking:  7pm         Late booking  9:30pm

Nov - Jan                    Early booking:  6:30pm     Late booking  9:30pm

February                     Early booking:  7pm         Late booking  9:30pm

March - April               Early booking: 8pm           Late booking 10:30

May & August                            Only booking 9:00 or 9:30 pm

June / July lack of darkness no bookings

TYPES OF TOURS:  I offer two basic types of tours. 

     1) The FULL TOUR includes a session in the Cosmic theater, which now has over 30 feet of high def screens and seats up to 60 people.  Full tours include beverages and snacks served.  During the tour groups are given an introduction show, then a hands on tour of the universe via the Sky Tour, and then a return warm up show in the Cosmic theater.   FULL TOURS run 2.5 hours

     2) The SKY TOUR is a tour of the universe at the observatory.  Participants take turns looking and learning about objects in the universe.  The objects available to see depend on the time of the year, phase of the moon and conditions of the sky.   Because of the dark sky location, and the quality of the equipment, on a moonless clear night it is possible to see objects 150,000 times fainter then the human eye can see or photograph objects 1,000,000 times fainter.  SKY TOURS run 1.5 hour - 2.5 hours depending on your booking.  With Sky tours your booking the telescopes for a block of time.  Your able to bring as many people as you like.  However, the more people you bring the less time each person has to see through the equipment.  An ideal number is 15 - 20 people. 

TYPES OF BOOKINGS: Once you know when you want to come, and what type of tour you want, lastly you need to decide on the type of booking:

    1) FIXED:  Fixed bookings are for those groups that require the date to be fixed for a number of reasons.  FIXED bookings still come out, cloudy or clear skies.  These are usually Full Tours, and the group is given a number of shows if the sky is cloudy.  Because FIXED bookings do not consume multiple dates, they are given a discount.

    2) FLEX:  Flex bookings enable groups to select one or more alternate dates for their tour.  Should the sky not be clear on the date of the booking, the booking is moved to the alternate date. 

To request your booking please provide the following:


MAIN CONTACT INFO (Telephone, cell, email)

AGE Range (grade /age of kids or Adult only)



DATE(S)  Provide a number of dates that would work for your group. (bookings are on first come first serve)

BOOKING TIME:  Early or Late sitting



FIX Bookings  <25 people  $90,  >25 people $100

FLEX Bookings <25 people $110 >25 people $120  (however, FLEX Bookings who pay at time reservation is made, will be charged same prices as FIX bookings)


FIX BOOKINGS  1.5 Hours $75, 2.5 hours $85

FLEX BOOKINGS  1.5 hours $85, 2.5 hour $95 (however, FLEX Bookings who pay at time reservation is made, will be charged same prices as FIX bookings)

Forward the information to ASTRORANDY (at)

Thank you




Over the last year I have been concentrating my efforts at the observatory on introduction and operation of a number of technologies in preparation for the Lakehead University's Physic's Operational Astronomy class. 
Now that the first pilot semester is successfully coming to a close, I plan to re-instate the TBOB NEWS LETTER.  If your interested in getting this publication...please send me an email with your email address.   Also you can create a member login account on this website and you will automatically be added to the distribution.   Your name can be removed at any time...and there is no fear that you will be spam'd  :)

Newsletters usually contain

  • Dates of Public Viewing Nights 
  • Updates on technology
  • Changes at the observatory
  • Things to watch for locally in the sky
  • Other astronomy activities.

 Clear Skies...


LU News Release on Observatory & Physics Program PDF Print E-mail





Starting this Fall Thunder Bay Observatory will be hosting regular small group social evenings. (10-16 people)  Perfect for the individual looking to meet others with similar interest, or for couples or small groups looking for a different experience.   The Evening will include  cocktails and a variety of appetizers, a informative and visual introduction into astronomy with a focus on a particular subject, and then a hands on tour of the universe through the telescope.  So far themes on the list include:
  • Life out there...UFO's, Extra Solar Planets, Seti..etc
  • Astronomical Research...whats the scientific community up to?
  • Space Travel . History and Future of
  • Big Bang to Black Holes ...the violence in our universe
  • The Scale of things!
If your interested in signing up for a Theme Night...let me know.


Click on Clear Sky Clock for explaination of colors

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