Publicly Accessible Telescope Viewing

For an interactive map of public telescopes, visit http://telescopes.stardate.org/guide/public.php.

Alabama

Florence
University of North Alabama Telescope Viewing
256-765-4284

Shows offered Tuesday and Friday nights. Viewings still available with planetarium presentations.

$3 per person

Arizona

WIYN telescope

The WIYN telescope at sunset. [NOAO/AURA/NSF]

Tucson
Kitt Peak National Observatory Nightly Observing Program
520-318-8726

Every night of the year except July 15-September 1

This program offers views through a 20-inch and two 16-inch reflecting telescopes, and includes an introductory presentation and a light dinner. Visitors also have binoculars to use while not looking through the telescopes.

$48 adults, $44 seniors 62 and over, students, and current military (with ID). Group rates available.

Kitt Peak National Observatory Public Nights on WIYN Telescope
520-318-8726

Every night of the year except July 15-September 1. Provided transportation departs at 4 pm.

This program offers views through a 36-inch research telescope. The program includes transportation to the site from the University of Arizona campus in Tucson, dinner, and an introductory presentation.

$120 per person

Pima College East Campus Observatory Open House
520-206-7610

Monday through Friday during the regular school semester

Telescope viewing offered.

Free admission

Flaundrau's Observatory Telescope Viewing
520-621-STAR

Wednesday through Saturday, excluding holidays

Viewing through a 16-inch telescope offered.

Free admission

Arkansas

Conway
University of Central Arkansas Public Nights
501-450-5900

Third Wednesday of every month

Stargazing through a 14-inch reflector at the University's observatory

Free admission

California

Berkeley
Lawrence Hall of Science Saturday Night Stargazing
510-642-5132

Third clear Saturday of every month

Stargazing through telescopes provided by amateur astronomers, plus lessons on how to navigate the night sky.

Free admission

Fresno
Downing Planetarium Star Gazing
559-278-4121

Stargazing is available through a single telescope every Friday night that the planetarium is open.

$5 adults, $2.50 children and students

Los Altos Hills
Foothill Observatory Public Viewing
650-949-7334

Every Friday

Views through 16-inch telescope offered

Free admission, $2 parking fee

Los Angeles
Griffith Observatory Star Parties
213-473-0800

One Saturday a month

Several telescopes available, provided by Los Angeles Astronomical Society and the Los Angeles Sidewalk Astronomers.

Free admission

The telescope domes at Chabot Space and Science Center

The telescope domes at Chabot Space and Science Center. [Conrad Jung]

Oakland
Chabot Space and Science Center Telescope Viewing
510-336-7300

Every Friday and Saturday evening, every Saturday and Sunday afternoon

Nightime and daytime viewing through several telescopes, including a new 36-inch reflector.

Free admission

Pasadena
Mount Wilson Observatory 60-Inch Telescope Viewing

Available most nights of the year

The largest telescope in the world when it was dedicated in 1908, this century-old instrument is now dedicated to public viewing for groups of 1-25. A session director and telescope operator are included as part of the fee.

$1,700 full night

San Diego
Palomar Observatory Tours and Star Parties
619-238-1233

Once a month during the summer

Tours of the observatory, including the historic 200-inch Hale telescope, followed by nightime gazing through several smaller telescopes.

$75 per non-member (ages 10 and up)

San Jose
Lick Observatory Summer Visitors Program

408-274-5061

Every other Friday night, late June through mid-September

After talks by two research astronomers and a presentation on the history of Lick Observatory, visitors look through the 36-inch Great Lick Refractor and the 40-inch Nickel Telescope.

$5 per person

Lick Observatory Music of the Spheres

Every other Saturday night, late June through mid-September

Concert and a talk by a research astronomer is followed by viewing through the 36-inch Great Lick Refractor and, conditions permitting, the 40-inch Nickel Telescope.

$35-$150 per person, depending on package

Colorado

Little Thompson Observatory

Little Thompson Observatory

Berthoud
Little Thompson Observatory
303-871-5172

Every third Friday night

Viewing through an 18-inch telescope, on the grounds of Berthoud High School.

Admission is free

Boulder
University of Colorado Sommers-Bausch Observatory
303-871-5172

Every Friday the University of Colorado is in session

Viewing through 16-inch, 18-inch, and smaller telescopes.

Admission is free

Denver
University of Denver Chamberlin Observatory
303-492-6732

Every Tuesday and Thursday

Programs include talks, tours of the historic observatory, and viewing through the 20-inch Alvan Clark refractor, installed in 1894.

Admission is $3 for adults, $2 for children

Gunnison
Gunnison Valley Observatory
970-642-1111

Every Friday and Saturday night during summer

Viewing through a 30-inch reflector, the largest public telescope in Colorado

Recommended donation is $5 for adults, $3 for children

Connecticut

Danbury
Western Connecticut State University Starwatch
203-837-8672

One night per month during spring and fall sessions

Viewing through a 20-inch reflector at the University's campus observatory.

Free admission

Middletown
Van Vleck Observatory
401-364-9508

Every Wednesday during academic year

Viewing through 24-inch reflector, 20-inch Alvan Clark refractor, others; on the campus of Wesleyan University

Free admission

District of Columbia

Washington, DC
National Air & Space Museum Public Viewing
202-633-2214

Programs offered every Wednesday and Saturday from 1 - 3 pm through a 16-inch telescope, which monitors the sun and the phases of Venus.

Free admission

Florida

Cocoa
Astronaut Memorial Planetarium and Observatory
321-433-7373

Every Friday and Saturday evening.

Viewing through a 24-inch Ritchey-Cretien telescope.

Free admission, although there is a charge for the planetarium and IMAX movies.

Davie
Buehler Planetarium & Observatory
954-201-6315

Every Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday

Public viewing through the Broward Community College Observatory.

Free admission

Miami
Weintraub Observatory Telescope Viewing
305-646-4200

First Friday of every month

Viewing through two Meade telescopes is offered.

Free admission

Orlando
Orlando Science Center Telescope Viewing
407-514-2000

Every Friday and Saturday evening

Viewing through a 10-inch telescope offered.

Free with museum admission

St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg College Telescope Viewing
727-341-4320

Three Fridays a month during the summer.

Viewing is offered through several telescopes before the planetarium show.

Free admission

Georgia

Atlanta
Fernbank Observatory Public Nights
678-874-7102

Every Thursday and Friday

Public viewing through a 36-inch reflector.

Free admission

Columbus
Coca-Cola Space Science Center Astronomy Nights
706-649-1470

One or two nights per week

Star parties offer views through a 16-inch telescope and other instruments at several parks in the Columbus area.

Free admission, although the parks may require a parking fee.

Macon
Museum of Arts and Sciences Weekly Telescope Viewing
478-477-3232

Every Friday night.

Several telescopes are avaliable for viewing.

Free with museum admission

Young Harris
Young Harris College Public Observation

(706) 379-5130

Every Friday evening during the school year

Viewing through a Cassegrain telescope offered.

Free admission

Hawaii

Honolulu
Bishop Museum Telescope Viewing
808-848-4168

First and third Fridays of each month

Telescope viewing is avaliable after Planetarium show.

$6 adults, $4 ages 4-12; cash only.

Mauna Kea
Mauna Kea Visitors Information Station Nightly Star Gazing
808-961-2180

Available every night of the year

The visitor center for the telescopes at Hawaii's Mauna Kea, including the giant twin Keck Telescopes, offers views through small telescopes until 10 p.m. the program includes a documentary on the mountain's cultural and research heritage.

Free admission

Idaho

Mountain Home
Bruneau Dunes Observatory Programs

208-366-7919

Every Friday and Saturday evening, mid-March through October

Idaho's largest public observatory offers viewing through several telescopes.

$3 ages 6 and up, plus $5 per vehicle park admission

Twin Falls
Centennial Observatory Open House
208-733-9554

Second Saturday of every month

Viewing through a 24-inch telescoped offered.

Free admission

Illinois

Elizabeth
Stargazing at Apple River Fort
815-858-2014

Once a month during the summer

Telescope viewings and stargazing, accompanied by American Indian stories.

Free admission

Indiana

Indianapolis
Butler University Telescope Viewing
800-368-6852

Most Friday and Saturday evenings

Telescope viewing is avaliable after a planetarium show.

$3 adults; $2 children, students and seniors; $7 families of five or less

Iowa

Cedar Falls
University of Northern Iowa Observatory

Thursday nights during fall and spring semesters

A variety of telescopes; McCollom Science Hall, UNI campus

Free admission

Cedar Rapids
Palisades-Dows Observatory
319-848-2068

At least one Saturday night per month, March-November

A variety of telescopes; at Palisades State Park

Kansas

Louisburg
Powell Observatory
913- 438-3825

Every Saturday night, May-October

A variety of telescopes, including a 30-inch reflector

Recommended donation $6 adults, $4 children

Topeka
Crane Observatory
785-670-2264

First and third Thursday of the month during fall, spring semesters

On the campus of Washburn University

Free admission

Wichita
Lake Afton Public Observatory
316-978-7827

Every Friday and Saturday

Varying astronomy presentations followed by 16-inch telescope viewing

$5 adults, $3 children 6-12, children under 6 free

Kentucky

Golden Pond
Golden Pond Observatory Telescope Viewing
270-924-2020

Open March - October 7 days a week, 5 days/week in November, 4 days/week in December.

Viewings through four telescopes and one Hydrogen-Alpha refractor.

Free admission

Louisiana

Baton Rouge
Highland Road Park Observatory Public Nights
225-768-9948

Every Friday and Saturday

Public viewing through several telescopes.

Free admission

Maine

Fairfield
Northern Stars Planetarium Star Parties
207-453-7668

Customer Request

Telescope viewing and star parties for private parties, offering viewing through six telescopes of up to six inches.

$175 per star party

Orono
Maynard F. Jordan Observatory Telescope Viewing
207-581-1341

Friday and Saturday evenings, September–April

Viewing through an 8-inch refractor built Alvan Clark & Sons offered.

Free admission

Maryland

Dundalk
Community College of Baltimore County Star Parties
443-840-5939

Every other Friday

Star parties offer views through a 14-inch telescope.

Free admission

Massachusetts

Boston
Museum of Science: Stargazing at the Observatory
617-589-0267

Fridays from early March to late September, 8:30-10 p.m.

Public viewing through an 11-inch reflector atop the museum's parking garage.

Free admission

Michigan

Ann Arbor
Angell Hall Observatory Open House

One or two Fridays per month Public viewing is offered through a 16-inch reflector and several smaller instruments at this facility on the University of Michigan campus. Open houses are also held in conjunction with special public lectures and planetarium shows.

Free admission

Bloomfield Hills
Cranbrook Institute of Science 'Starry Nights'
248-645-3200

Shows offered Friday evenings, 8:30-10 p.m.

Public viewing is offered through a 6-inch refractor in the Institute's public observatory.

Requires museum admission

Dexter
Peach Mountain Observatory Open House

Two Saturdays per month during warmer weather

Hosted by a local astronomy group, this University of Michigan facility offers viewing through a 24-inch telescope, plus those set up by the astronomy club.

Free admission

East Lansing
Michigan State University Observatory Public Observation Nights
517-355-4672

One Friday and Saturday per warmer month

Public Observation Nights offer views through a 24-inch telescope, with additional, smaller telescopes avaliable.

$2 for children, $2.50 for students and seniors, $3 for adults

Minnesota

Chaska
Onan Observatory Star-Gazing Nights

Varying dates, depending on season and sky events

A variety of telescopes; at Baylor Regional Park

$5 per vehicle parking fee

Minneapolis
University of Minnesota

Every Friday during fall and spring semesters

Public viewing atop the physics building on campus

Free admission

Saint Paul
Macalester College

Every other Thursday

Viewing through a 16-inch telescope

Free admission

Mississippi

French Camp
Rainwater Observatory and Planetarium
662-547-6482

Second Friday of every month

Viewing through a variety of telescopes

Call for rates

Missouri

Columbia
Laws Observatory

Every Wednesday

A 16-inch telescope, atop the Astronomy and Physics Building, University of Missouri-Columbia

Free admission

Fayette
Morrison Observatory
660-248-6371

Thursday nights during Central Methodist University terms

A historic Alvan Clark & Sons reflecting telescope

Free admission

Kansas City
Warkoczewski Public Observatory

Every Friday night, March-November

A variety of telescopes; at Broemmelsiek Park, University of Missouri-Kansas City

Free admission

Saint Louis
UM-St. Louis Schwartz Observatory

One Saturday night per month, March-November

A variety of telescopes; at North Campus, near the Fine Arts Building

Free admission

Wentzville
Astronomical Society of Eastern Missouri

Every Friday night

A variety of telescopes; at Broemmelsiek Park

Free admission

Montana

Bozeman
Stars Over Bozeman

One Friday night each month during summer

At Gallatin Regional Park, hosted by Southwest Montana Astronomical Society.

Free admission

Nebraska

Lincoln
Hyde Memorial Observatory Telescope Viewing
402-441-7895

Viewing offered through 8-, 12.5-, and 14-inch telescopes every Saturday night

Free Admission

Nevada

Carson City
Western Nevada College Jack C. Davis Observatory
801-587-7223

Every Saturday night.

Free admission

Reno
University of Nevada, Reno MacLean Observatory

First Friday of every month.

Public viewing through 14- and 22-inch telescopes

Free admission

New Hampshire

Concord
McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center
603-271-7827

First and second Friday of the month

Viewing through several telescopes

Free admission

Durham
University of New Hampshire Observatory

First and third Satury of every month

Viewing through several telescopes

Free admission

Hanover
Shattuck Observatory
603-646-2854

Fridays during the school term

On the campus of Dartmouth University

Free admission

New Jersey

Cranford
William Miller Sperry Observatory Public Nights
908-276-7827

Every Friday

Two informal talks are followed by public viewing through 24-inch and 10-inch reflectors.

Free admission

New Mexico

Albuquerque
University of New Mexico Campus Observatory
505-277-2073

Every Friday during the fall and spring semesters

Public viewing through a 14-inch telescope

Recommended donation is $5 for adults, $3 for children

Chaco Canyon (Aztec, Farmington)
Chaco Culture National Historical Park Night Sky Programs

Friday and Saturday evenings in April and October; Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday evenings May through September.

The programs begin with staff presentations on archaeoastronomy and cultural history, followed by telescope viewing.

$8 per vehicle park entry fee

New York

Vestal
Kopernik Observatory Telescope Viewing
607-748-3685

Open every Friday night, March - November

Viewing through several telescopes — amateur and professional — offered.

$3 per child, $5 per adult, $16 maximum per family

North Carolina

Brevard
Evenings at PARI
828-862-5554

Second Friday of each month

Viewing through several telescopes after public talk and tour of Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute, a radio observatory; in the Pisgah National Forest

$20 adults, $10 children 14 and under, $15 students and seniors

Chapel Hill
Morehead Planetarium and Science Center
919-962-1236

One Saturday per month

Viewing through several telescopes; at Jordan Lake State Recreation Area, south of Chapel Hill

Free admission

Ohio

Bay Village
Lake Erie Nature & Science Center Telescope Viewing
440-871-2900

First and third Saturdays of every month

Public viewing through several telescopes after the Center's 8 p.m. planetarium show.

Free admission

Cincinnati Observatory Center

The Cincinnati Observatory Center. [Cincinnati Observatory Center]

Cincinnati
Cincinnati Observatory Center Astronomy Nights

513-321-5186

The oldest professional observatory in the United States offers views through two historic telescopes on its astronomy nights, including a 16-inch refractor built by Alvan Clark and Sons and an 11-inch refractor that was built in 1842. Tickets include a tour of the Observatory and an astronomy lecture.

Thursday shows, suggested donation of $4 per person, Friday shows are $6 for adults, $4 for children. Not available first Thursday and Friday of each month, reservations required for all programs.

Delaware
Perkins Observatory Evening Public Programs

740-363-1257

Every Friday night, except July

Star parties include viewing through the 32-inch Schottland Telescope, which is the Observatory's primary research and teaching telescope, and smaller instruments. Other features include lectures and Observatory tours.

$7 adults, $5 children 3-17, $5 seniors (ages 62 and over) (advance purchase only; if space is available, tickets are available at the door for $2 more)

PDFBrochure

Toledo
Brooks Observatory Star Parties
800-586-5336

Every Friday evening.

Viewing through two 10-inch and one 6-inch telescope.

Free admission

Wilmot
The Wilderness Center Telescope Viewing
330-359-5235

First Friday of every month

Viewing through a 16-inch and two 10-inch telescopes offered.

Free admission

Oklahoma

Norman
University of Oklahoma Campus Observatory

Every Wednesday when the university is in session

Free admission

Oregon

Bend
Pine Mountain Observatory
541-382-8331

Every Friday and Saturday, late May through September

Public viewing through a 32-inch and other telescopes

Recommended donation is $5 per person

Oregon City
Haggart Observatory
509-594-6044

One Saturday per month

Viewing through 24- and 13-inch telescopes

Free admission

Portland
OMSI Star Parties
503-797-4000

One Saturday per month, plus other dates

Viewing through a variety of telescopes at both Rooster Rock State Park (east of Portland) and L.L. “Stub” Stewart State Park (west)

$5 per vehicle park entry fee

Sunriver
Oregon Observatory
541-593-4394

Various nights, depending on season

Viewing through several telescopes

$6 adults, $4 children 12 and under

Pennsylvania

Allentown
Lehigh Valley Amateur Astronomical Society Public Star Parties

610-797-3476

One Saturday per month, see website for dates.

An astronomy lecture and planetarium show are followed by skywatching through the society's telescopes.

$2 donation recommended for adults

Latrobe
St. Vincent College Telescope Viewing
724-532-6600

Mondays and Wednesdays throught the school year

10-inch telescope viewing avaliable after planetarium show.

Free admission

Franklin Institute telescope

The Philadelphia skyline stands behind one of the Franklin Institute telescopes.

Philadelphia
Franklin Institute Night Skies in the Observatory
215-448-1200

Second Thursday of every month

Viewing through five different telescopes offered.

$5 admission, free for Franklin Institute members
The Philadelphia skyline stands behind one of the Franklin Institute telescopes.

York
York County Astronomical Society Public Observation
717-578-9109

Once a month throughout the year

Viewing through the club's telescopes offered and star charts avaliable.

Free admission

Rhode Island

Charlestown
Frosty Drew Nature Center and Observatory
401-364-9508

Every Friday

Viewing through 16-inch reflector, other telescopes

Recommended donation $1

North Scituate
Seagrave Memorial Observatory

Every Saturday

Viewing through four telescopes, including 16-inch reflector, 8-inch Clark refractor

Free admission

Franklin Institute telescope

Ladd Observatory, Providence

Providence
Ladd Observatory
401-863-2323

Every Tuesday

On the campus of Brown University

Free admission

Warwick
Margaret M. Jacoby Observatory

Every Wednesday

Viewing through a 16-inch reflector, on the campus of Community College of Rhode Island

Free admission

South Carolina

Aiken
Ruth Patrick Science Education Center Observatory

Every Saturday after planetarium show

Viewing through several telescopes; on the campus of University of South Carolina

Free admission

Columbia
Melton Memorial Observatory

Every Monday

On the campus of University of South Carolina Aiken

Free admission

Florence
Francis Marion University Observatory

One or more Saturdays per month

Viewing through several telescopes

Free admission

Tennessee

Nashville
Sudekum Planetarium Star Parties
615-862-5160

About once a month

Star Parties offer views through several telescopes, and visitors are welcome to bring their own.

Free admission

Texas

Austin
University of Texas Public Viewing Nights
512-471-5007

Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday nights when the University is in session

Viewing through a 16-inch telescope atop RLM Hall on Wednesday nights, and through a 1930s-vintage 9-inch telescope atop Painter Hall on Friday and Saturday nights.

Free admission; $3 parking in University garages after 6 p.m.

Burnet
Eagle Eye Observatory Star Parties

512-334-2070

Open one Saturday a month for public star parties

Public viewing is offered through 16-inch and 12.5-inch reflectors at this site, which is operated by the Austin Astronomical Society in conjunction with the Canyon of the Eagles Lodge and Nature Reserve in the Texas Hill Country.

Free admission for lodge and reserve guests

Fort Bend
George Observatory: Saturdays at the George
713-639-4708

Every Saturday, 3-11 p.m.

Public viewing through 36-inch, 18-inch, and 14-inch reflecting telescopes operated by the Houston Museum of Natural History on the grounds of Brazos Bend State Park.

$5 per person, plus park admission fee

Fort Davis
McDonald Observatory Star Parties

star party

Visitors attend a McDonald Observatory star party. [Frank Cianciolo]

Every Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday

In addition to naked-eye tours of the night sky, the star parties offer views through a 22-inch telescope, a 16-inch telescope, and several smaller instruments.

$12 adults, $8 children 6-12, $40 family (five or more). $60 per person for 107" viewing.

Also available as part of a combination ticket that includes daytime Observatory tours.

432-426-3640

McDonald Observatory Public Viewing Nights

Dates and starting times vary; check the web site for schedules

McDonald Observatory offers views through the 107-inch Harlan J. Smith and 82-inch Otto Struve telescopes one or more nights per month. Programs include dinner and a presentation by a research astronomer. The Observatory also offers viewing through the 36-inch research telescope, but this program does not include the presentation are dinner. Reservations are generally required several months in advance. Not suitable for children under 10.

$75 per person for the 107-inch and 82-inch telescopes, $50 for the 36-inch telescope

432-426-3640

Fort Worth
Fort Worth Noble Planetarium Star Parties
817-255-9300

Once a month during the summer

Star Parties offer viewings through several telescopes and interaction with Fort Worth Astronomical Society members.

Free admission

San Antonio
Scobee Planetarium Telescope Viewing
210-486-0100

No shows currently listed.

Utah

Full Moon over Bryce Canyon [National Park Service]

Full Moon over Bryce Canyon [National Park Service]

Bryce Canyon
Bryce Canyon National Park Night Sky Programs
801-587-7223

1-3 nights per week, depending on the season

Telescope viewing and multimedia presentations. Other astronomy programs include solar viewing three times per week and an annual star party.

$25 per vehicle park admission fee

Salt Lake City
University of Utah South Physics Observatory
801-587-7223

Every clear Wednesday evening

On the roof of the South Physics Building

Free admission

Vermont

Middlebury
Middlebury College Observatory
802-443-2266

A few warm-weather nights during the year

Viewing through several telescopes

Free admission

Virginia

Charlottesville
Leander McCormick Observatory Public Nights

434-243-1885

First and third Friday of each month (except holidays)

Established in 1885, the Observatory offers views through a 26-inch refractor built by Alvan Clark and Sons and a modern 10-inch reflector. The program includes a tour of the Observatory and audio-visual presentations.

Free admission

Fan Mountain Public Nights
434-243-1885

Twice yearly, in April and October

This University of Virginia observing station offers views through 40-inch and 31-inch reflectors. Advance tickets are required.

Free admission

National Radio Astronomy Observatory Star Parties
304-456-2150

Once a month, April - December

NRAO volunteers provide telescopes for celestial viewing.

Free admission

Fairfax County
Analemma Society's Star Parties
703-503-4648

Every Friday night during the summer

Viewing through several telescopes offered.

Free admission

Newport News
Abbitt Observatory Daily Telescope Viewing
757-595-1900

Daily access offers viewing through four telescopes and two sun-spotting devices.

Free with museum admission

Washington

Goldendale
Goldendale Observatory
509-773-3141

Every Wednesday through Sunday, April through September

Public viewing through a 24.5-inch and other telescopes; daytime programs available as well, offering telescopic views of bright stars or planets. Operated by Washington State Parks

Admission via state parks pass

star party

A winter evening at Washington State University's Jewett Observatory.

Pullman
Washington State University Star Parties

509-335-4994

Approximately once a month

Viewing through 12-inch Alvan Clark & Sons telescope.

Free admission

Wisconsin

Madison
Washburn Observatory Open House
608-262-8544

Every Wednesday during the summer. First and third Wednesdays of each month year-round.

Observatory open for public viewing.

Free admission

Stevens Point
UW-SP Observatory Telescope Viewing
715-346-2208

Three days a week, during the school year

Viewing through a 0.4-meter telescope offered.

Free admission



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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