PSU-Greenbush Astrophysical Observatory

2018-19 Observatory Event Calendar

*All observatory events are free and open to the public.

Friday, Sept. 14, 2018 - Mars - 7pm

The Red Planet Returns!  The summer of 2018 saw a very close approach of Mars and Earth as the orbits aligned for spectacular view in the night sky.  As September arrives Mars will be even better positioned for viewing in the evening sky.  Come learn more about this terrific opportunity to view this fascinating world!

Friday, Oct. 19, 2018 - Saturn - 7pm

The Ringed Planet never fails to impress all who have gazed at it in a telescope since the 17th century.  Come learn about the latest information on this incredible planet and its unique ring and moon systems.

Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018 - Star Party and Weenie Roast (Topic: Dark Matter/Dark Energy) - 6:30pm

Stargazers of all ages are invited to a weenie roast at the Camp and Retreat Center followed by a presentation on dark matter and dark energy, two astronomy concepts that are often discussed but poorly understood. Afterward, guests will have a chance to view the night sky through the observatory telescope and participate in a number of other astronomy-related activities. 

Friday, Dec. 14, 2018 - Geminid Meteor Shower - 7pm

Mid-December offers an annual opportunity to view a wonderful spectacle in the night sky.  The Geminid Meteor Shower is a great chance for sky enthusiasts of all skill levels to watch and enjoy.  Our talk will explain the origin of this and other meteor showers and then adjourn to watch the skies in hopes of viewing some of these brilliant streaks of light.

Friday, Jan. 18, 2019 - Venus - 7pm

January will offer a spectacular view in the morning sky - a conjunction of Venus and Jupiter.  This event is caused by the predictable orbits of these planets relative to our view from Earth. Venus in particular will be discussed as it offers a fascinating look into a world that has many things in common with Earth, but yet is so hostile to life.

Friday, Feb. 8, 2019 - Winter Constellations - 7pm

Long dark nights and cool temperatures provide the best seeing conditions to view the night sky.  The middle of winter is also a great time to view the heavens and identify many well-known bright constellations in the southern sky.  Come learn about Winter’s Great Hexagon and how to identify this large asterism on your own.

Friday, March 15, 2019 - New Telescopes and Search for Exoplanets - 7pm

2019 is in the middle of a great era of expansion in our understanding of planets beyond our solar system.  Much of this learning is due to the new telescopes that are being constructed for a highly specialized task of identifying and studying this new branch of astronomy.

Friday, April 12, 2019 - Solar System Leftovers - 7:30pm

Most students learn in grade school that our solar system is composed of a handful of planets orbiting a central star we call the Sun.  However, there is a great deal more going on in our celestial neighborhood and many of these smaller leftover pieces could provide a wealth of resources and information that could hold secrets waiting to be discovered.  

Friday, May 10, 2019 - Messier Catalog - 8pm

An 18th century astronomer named Charles Messier made a living finding comets and in doing so made a list of things he knew were NOT comets.  Little did he know his list would become the foundation for amateur astronomers as well as changing our understanding about what type of formations are visible in the night sky.  Come learn about Messier’s Catalog and how the refining of this historical list has transformed our understanding of the Cosmos.

Friday, June 21, 2019  - Jupiter - 9pm

Jupiter is the largest and most massive of all the objects in our solar system labelled as a planet.  This world functions much like a miniature solar system and provides a great deal of information about how large planets function and its moons have many mysteries yet to be revealed.