The Utah State University Observatory will open its doors to the public Friday, Dec. 3. All are invited to view Cache Valley’s night sky from the observatory telescope from 6:30-8:30 p.m. All ages are welcome and admission is free. Masks are encouraged.
“We invite the Cache Valley community to enjoy stargazing from our state-of-the-art facility,” said James Coburn, Department of Physics teaching laboratory supervisor and USUO coordinator. “Our primary targets for Dec. 3 will be the Owl Cluster, Hercules Globular Cluster, the Ring Nebula, the Andromeda Galaxy, Jupiter and Saturn.”
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.
IMPORTANT NOTE: 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.
Additional public viewing nights are planned in spring 2022.
The observatory’s telescope is accessible by stairs only from the SER building’s roof.
Parking for the event is available 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. For parking information, visit USU Parking and Transportation Services’ Visitor Parking website.
USU students are the primary beneficiaries of the observatory, which was completed in 2009. More than 700 Aggies are enrolled in fall astronomy classes, which allow them access to USUO.