Public Observing Nights are scheduled for the following dates - cloudy or clear. Meet in the new lecture theatre, ASE 2026.
Saturday, June 1 @ 9:30 PM
Saturday, July 13 @ 9:30 PM
Saturday, July 20 @ 9:30 PM
Saturday, August 10 @ 9:00 PM (note earlier time!)
Saturday, August 17 @ 9:00 PM (note earlier time!)
All evenings will begin with an introductory talk in ASE 2026. No reservations are necessary. (Please note that the tour is not suitable for chidren under 7.)
If it is clear, the public will have a chance to view through the main 0.6 m telescope. If it is overcast, we will tour the observatory and display area. Please dress for standing outside for at least 30 minutes: see "What to Expect..." below.
The observatory is equipped with an elevator and stair lift for accessibility. Please notify us if you will require its use.
Several important points:
Dress for being outside! The observatory dome is not heated (or cooled), so you should dress appropriately. (Note that even in the summer, nights can get chilly.)
Space in the dome is limited. No more than 18 people can be accommodated for observing at a time, so there may be some waiting if there is a crowd! Parents are encouraged to bring children - unaccompanied children will not be admitted. (Note that the tour is not suitable for children under 7; please do not bring them.)
If it is clear, inside the dome will be dark, to enable viewing at the telescope. Please be considerate of others in the group: do not take flash photos or operate your cell phone. There is usually an opportunity to take photos of the telescope after the tour.
The telescope cannot see through clouds, so on overcast nights there will be no observing. There willhowever, be a longer presentation and tour of the observatory, telescope and display area.
You wiil not see anything like a Hubble image through the Grenfell telescope. Firstly, the Hubble telescope has 16 times more light-collecting area, and secondly because your eyes cannot store up light the way a camera can. Most of the incredible colour astronomical pictures that you see on TV and in magazines come from telescope cameras that store the incoming light for tens of minutes to hours, add together multiple images, then process the result for maximum effect. Hubble Space Telescope is also above Earth's light-absorbing and distorting atmosphere. But when you look through the eyepiece of the Grenfell telescope your eyes will see the VERY LIGHT that has traveled from the planets or stars or galaxies - it has not been processed!