USU Observatory Welcomes Public Friday, April 21
Thursday, Apr. 20, 2017
The public is invited to view the night sky through the telescope at the USU Observatory Friday, April 21, from 9-11 p.m. Admission is free.
The Great Orion Nebula is among the celestial bodies astronomy enthusiasts will seek during the USU Observatory Public Night Friday, April 21. All are welcome to the free event. Image courtesy NASA.
April showers foiled the USU Observatory’s first attempt at a public night this month, but all are invited Friday, April 21, from 9-11 p.m. for a second attempt to enjoy views of the night sky from the observatory. Admission is free.
“We invite the Cache Valley community to enjoy star-gazing from our state-of-the-art facility,” says James Coburn, Physics Department teaching laboratory supervisor and USUO coordinator. “We’re planning to look at rising Jupiter, the Orion Nebula, Mars, Sirius the Dog Star and a waxing Moon.”
Located on the roof of USU’s Science Engineering Research (SER) building, the observatory houses a 20-inch reflecting telescope on a computerized mount that yields clear, crisp images of faraway planets and deep space objects. The observatory’s unique, half-circle building, designed and constructed by USU Facilities, features a circular staircase that leads to the telescope gallery topped with a metal dome measuring 16.5 feet in diameter.
All attendees are encouraged to visit the USUO website before arriving on public night, as the gathering will be cancelled in the event of cloudy or inclement weather.
The observatory’s telescope is accessible by stairs only from the SER building’s roof.
Parking for the event is available in surface lots near the Caine Performance Hall at 1090 East 675 North on the USU campus. The SER building is southwest of the Caine Performance Hall. To access the observatory, visitors should take the freight elevator located at the northwest corner of the first floor of the SER building to the roof. For directions, visit the observatory parking website.
USU students are the primary beneficiaries of the observatory, which was completed in 2009. More than 700 Aggies are enrolled in spring astronomy classes, which afford them access to USUO.