Campus Life

USU Observatory Welcomes the Public on Friday, Sept. 16

All are invited to view autumn's night sky during a free public viewing event

By Mary-Ann Muffoletto |

The public is invited to view the night sky through the telescope at the USU Observatory. Admission is free and masks are welcome. (Photo: Steve Sellers, CC BY-SA 2.0)

The Utah State University Observatory opens its doors to the public Friday, Sept. 16. All are invited to view Cache Valley’s night sky from the observatory telescope from 9-11 p.m. All ages are welcome and admission is free. Masks are welcome.

“We invite the Cache Valley community to enjoy stargazing from our state-of-the-art facility,” says James Coburn, Department of Physics teaching laboratory supervisor and USUO coordinator. “Our possible targets for Sept. 16 are Jupiter, Saturn, the Lagoon Nebula, Albireo, Wild Duck Cluster and the M81 and M82 galaxies.”

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.

Additional Fall 2022 public viewing nights are planned for Oct. 21, Nov. 4 and Dec. 2.

The observatory’s telescope is accessible by stairs only from the SER building’s rooftop deck.

Parking for the event is available near the Caine Performance Hall at 1090 E. 675 North on the USU campus and in the Gateway Parking Terrace at 1070 E. 700 North in Logan. 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 afford them access to USUO.

USU Observatory Coordinator James Coburn demonstrates the facility's 20-inch reflecting telescope. (Photo Credit: USU/M. Muffoletto)


Mary-Ann Muffoletto
Public Relations Specialist
College of Science


James Coburn
Laboratory Supervisor
Department of Physics



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