Public Observing Nights, school tours and Open House events continue to be very popular. As a result, we have recently passed the 3000 visitor mark!
(Sorry about the delay, but we were unable to open the dome due to snow and ice accumulation!)
Spring Public Observing Nights:
Saturday, April 11 @ 8:30 PM
Saturday, April 25 @ 8:30 PM
Saturday, May 9 @ 9:00 PM
Saturday, May 23 @ 9:00 PM
All sessions begin in the lecture theatre AS 2026
on the ground floor of the Arts & Science extension.
This spring/summer/fall there are several space probes which will arrive or release some exciting new views of some of the smaller members of the Solar System:
- Rosetta mission released a lander to the surface of Comet 67P
- Dawn mission to two dwarf planets/asteroids has recently gone into orbit about Ceres
- New Horizons mission to Pluto will arrive in July, for our first close-up look at the last of the classic planets
The introductory talks this tour season will highlight the smaller bodies of the Solar System, and explain some of the recent discoveries and incredible images! The observatory vestibule displays have also been changed to highlight these icy and rocky bodies.
All sessions will begin with a short introductory talk. If it is overcast, a longer talk will precede a tour of the observatory and display area.
The objects we view will depend on the weather
and what is "up", because the sky changes not only during the night,
but with the seasons as well! April 25 and May 23 will be favourable for the Moon as it will be near first quarter. With clear skies, Jupiter and its moons will be well-placed to view all spring and early summer. Other interesting objects we might see include double
stars, star clusters, planetary nebulae and perhaps a galaxy.
No reservations are required and there is no charge.
Note that the tour is not
suitable for young children; please do not bring children
The observatory is equipped with an elevator for accessibility. Please
notify us if you require its use.
A limited number of school tours this spring may be requested by contacting us: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like to be put on our "First Notice" Observatory email list, contact us with your email address. You'll be the first to know about observing opportunities with the telescope an any special activities we are planning.
Several important points:
Dress for being outside! The observatory dome is not heated (or cooled) and is open to the outside, 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, but unaccompanied children will not be admitted. (Note that the evening tour is not suitable for children under 7; please do not bring them.)
If it is a clear evening, 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 will however, 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. Two important reasons are that the Hubble telescope has 16 times more light-collecting area and is located above the light-dimming and distorting atmosphere, but mainly 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. 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!