Visit Gilbert Rotary Centennial Observatory and look at the stars

If you love learning about the space (or just learning in general) you have to visit this amazing Observatory. Choose an evening when the sky is clear and come to the Observatory to look at the stars.

On October 21st, 2006, the Observatory was officially opened. The whole project was led by Win Pendleton, a retired astronomy educator and member of both the Gilbert Rotary Club and the East Valley Astronomy Club. Since the year 2005 marked the 100th anniversary of Rotary International, the local club adopted the idea of creating a public observatory as its centennial project.

The facility was built through private donations and gifted to the Town of Gilbert, and all the staff working at the Observatory are volunteers who have a passion for astronomy and space science.

Since the opening night in 2006, over 90,000 visitors have put their eyeball to our telescope’s lens (the Observatory houses a 16” Meade LX200R telescope and 60mm Lunt solar telescope).

Telescope in the Observatory

Currently, the Observatory is closed for Friday and Saturday viewing. Reservations are available for private groups (6 or less) for Sunday through Thursday evening. CDC protocols will be observed.

Usually, the second Friday of each month there is an astronomy related talk in addition to telescope viewing hours. These Sky Watch programs take place at 7:30pm in the adjoining public library, and are a joint presentation of the Gilbert Riparian Institute and the East Valley Astronomy Club. The lectures are free for members of the Riparian Institute, and for the general public a donation of $5 is requested and appreciated (but not required). These events are cancelled until further notice, so please check the website regularly to find out when the events will be happening again.

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Posted by Gilbert Rotary Centennial Observatory – GRCO on Wednesday, 13 January 2021


“This place is amazing!!!!!!!!!! If you are into astronomy, you will love this place. If you are slightly into astronomy you will really enjoy this place. If you have no interest in astronomy, you probably will after a visit to this place. For the first time in my life I actually saw the rings of Saturn – and not from TV screen connected to a telescope – by actually looking into the eyepiece. It is located in a park. If you go at night and are not familiar with the area, just trust your GPS. People come and go all night, so we found plenty of people to ask directions once we parked. Basically, follow the red lights. The volunteers are very knowledgeable and eager to answer questions. People in the area are lucky to have this place.” -grzzz @

Hours: Sunday through Thursday evening (private groups of 6 or less)
To inquire about special scheduling for groups, contact the observatory manager: [email protected]

Admission: Minimum of $40 donation for private viewing


See you there!

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