Public Observing Nights, school tours and Open House events have been very successful in the past year and we expect our first spring Public Night will allow us to pass the 2000 visitor milestone!
With the coming of better weather (hopefully!), we are pleased to announce the spring public observing schedule. Note that all sessions do not begin at the same time. No reservations are required.
Third quarter Moon (mosaic, GCO)
Public Observing Nights: Spring Schedule
Saturday, 8 March @ 7:30 PM
Saturday, 22 March @ 8:30 PM
Saturday, 5 April @ 8:30 PM
Saturday, 19 April @ 9:00 PM
All tours begin in room AS 2016 in the new Arts & Science extension. No reservations are required. Please do not bring children under 7 to the evening tours.
The observatory is equipped with an elevator and stair lift for accessibility. Please notify us if you will require its use.
The March 8 and April 5 nights will have the 1st quarter Moon, making it well suited for early evening viewing. Jupiter is well placed all spring long, and Mars may be high enough for the April 19th tour. Here is a link to Sky & Telescope Magazine's Observing Guide to the Moon. To find out the phase of the Moon at any date, consult this phase calculator.
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. 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!