James Irwin Observatory

Canterbury Adult Education Centre, Canterbury, CT2 8JY

Location description

The James Irwin Observatory is located within the grounds of Canterbury Academy and Adult Education Centre. Public access to the observatory is welcomed and facilitated by the enthusiastic members of Mid-Kent Astronomical Society who hold regular open evenings of the facility — visitors should contact the Society directly to arrange their visit which starts with a rendezvous in the nearby Victoria Hotel before being escorted to the observatory.

The observatory itself is currently home to a large 14″ computer controlled Celestron Schmidt Cassegrain telescope. The observatory’s original telescope, a huge half-meter aperture Grubb-Parsons manufactured telescope that was originally built to train students at Edinburgh University and relocated to the South West in 2012, is currently being refurbished.

To see dates when the observatory is open to the public please see the events listed under the Victoria Hotel – Canterbury.

Location event organiser

Mid-Kent Astronomical Society organises stargazing events at this location.

Astronomical society

Meeting place for local astronomical society, often in a location that enables stargazing and observing.


Location has an observatory that is accessible to the public by prior arrangement or during public events.

Tonight's weather forecast

Weather forecast for Canterbury (0.75 miles away) updated 26/03/21 at 12:00.

Location light pollution

This location is estimated to have light pollution levels similar to a urban setting based on satellite data from CPRE.

Dark site
The above demonstrates the estimated effect of light pollution - graphics created using Stellarium.

Stargazing events at this location

There are no known forthcoming events at this location. Previously there have been 73 events with the last one being on 3rd January 2020 organised by Mid-Kent Astronomical Society.


When to visit

The best time to visit James Irwin Observatory can be found on this dark skies calendar.

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