Safety Rules and Access Advisory for
DU's Historic Chamberlin Observatory
PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING
SAFETY RULES


ALWAYS FACE THE LADDER WHEN CLIMBING UP AND COMING DOWN THE LADDER-GANTRY.

CHILDREN MUST BE OVER
41 INCHES TALL
TO SAFELY USE THE LADDER FOR LOOKING THROUGH THE MAIN TELESCOPE

CHILDREN SHALL NOT BE CARRIED UP THE GANTRY STAIRS OR HELD UP TO THE EYEPIECE OF THE TELESCOPE

People who appear to be under the influence of alcohol or other
substances may be requested to leave the building for their own safety and the safety of others. The University Police may be summoned.

The TELESCOPE LADDER-GANTRY used to reach the eyepiece is steep, narrow, and requires proper footwear (no high heels), good balance and eyesight for safe use. The height of the gantry platform above the floor may reach 12 feet or more. There is no expectation that visitors should attempt to use this equipment unless they feel comfortable in doing so.

Lighting is very dim in the observing area, as white light destroys the eye’s ability to see faint celestial objects. Those who experience difficulties in low light situations are advised to remain on the lower floors.

By necessity, the dome room with the telescope is not heated to
keep the telescope ready for observing. Visitors should be dressed for the nighttime outdoor temperature.


Thank you for HELPING US KEEP YOU SAFE.
The Denver Astronomical Society &
University of Denver, Astronomy & Physics Program

 

The University of Denver owns and operates DU's Historic Chamberlin Observatory -- a building appearing on the national Historic Landmark list. The building reflects the architecture of its era, and as such poses accessibility limitations to its visitors. Steep stairs are required to even enter the building, and there are no lifts, ramps, or other accommodations for wheelchairs or other motion assisting devices. Other impediments to motion include low or non-existent handrails, and a small non-handicap-equipped restroom. A narrow spiral staircase must be climbed in order to reach the upper floor.

The weeknight entrance of the observatory is a narrow stone
stairway at the north end of the building:
A gantry with ladder-like steps leading to a platform is
used to view objects lower towards the horizon.
North Entry Stairs - Bottom North Entry Stairs - Top

The Weekend Entrance is usually at the South or Main
entrance to the building:
A narrow spiral staircase must be negotiated to
reach the telescope area:
 

OBSERVING OPPORTUNITIES AT DU'S HISTORIC CHAMBERLIN OBSERVATORY

The Denver Astronomical Society is privileged to use DU's Historic Chamberlin Observatory to host many of its public outreach activities. DAS reaches approximately 5,000 people each year. Weekly, we host a Tuesday and Thursday night session to discuss topics of astronomy and to view celestial objects with the large telescope. DAS does this with an extremely limited budget. We neither own nor lease the space at the observatory.

In order to reach as many people as possible, we hold a monthly open house event, where our members bring their personal telescopes to the lawn of Observatory Park. This event offers people with accessibility issues some access to viewing celestial objects. Access to the bathroom in the observatory during open houses requires entering the observatory, normally through the south stairway. The small bathroom is not equipped for handicapped access.

Please bear with us as this is one of the few remaining observatories in the United States to enjoy some measure of public access.

Due to our very limited budget we are unable to offer signing or other technology to facilitate people with hearing difficulties. You are welcomed to bring your own resources and we will help you to the best of our abilities to utilize those resources.

Astronomy is a highly visual experience, and our activities are not recommended for the sight-impaired. During our weeknight events, we offer a general lecture to the public, that relies heavily on slides and other images, but the talking part may provide a measure of value to sight impaired people.

 
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