Public Observing Nights, school tours and Open House events continue to be very popular. As a result, we have recently passed the 3500 visitor mark!
The short summer nights around the solstice mean that it does not get dark enough for public observing until quite late. Thus we are concentrating all the public viewing opportunities into August!
During August, Public Observing Nights will be held on every suitably clear Tuesday and Saturday evening starting at 9 PM:
|Tuesday, 4 August
||Saturday, 8 August|
|Tuesday, 11 August
||Saturday, 15 August|
|Tuesday, 18 August
||Saturday, 22 August|
|Tuesday, 25 August
||Saturday, 29 August|
If it is clear, meet in lecture theatre AS 2026 on the ground floor of the Arts & Science extension. You will be escorted up to the dome in groups. There will be no public observing, talk, or tour of the observatory if it is overcast or rainy.
A notice will be posted HERE indicating whether the observing session will be held.
(The message is updated just before 6 PM each scheduled evening.)
No reservations are required and there is no charge. Note that the tours are not
suitable for young children under 7 years. Planet Passports will be available for young people who are interested in the program.
The observatory is equipped with an elevator and stair lift suitable for manual wheelchairs only. Please
notify us if you require their use.
we can accommodate a limited number of school and other educational group tours. Contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like to be put on our "First Notice" Observatory email list, contact us with your email address. You'll be the first to know about observing opportunities with the telescope an any special activities we are planning.
Several important points:
Dress for being outside! The observatory dome is not heated (or cooled) and is open to the outside, so you should dress appropriately. (Note that even in the summer, nights can get chilly.)
Space in the dome is limited. No more than 18 people can be accommodated for observing at a time, so if there is a crowd we will bring you to the dome in groups - be sure to meet in AS 2026 at the time scheduled for the start of the observing session.
Parents are encouraged to bring children, but unaccompanied children will not be admitted. (Note that evening observing sessions are not suitable for children under 7; please do not bring them.)
If it is a clear evening, inside the dome will be dark, to enable viewing at the telescope. Please be considerate of others in the group: do not take flash photos or operate your cell phone. There is usually an opportunity to take photos of the telescope after the tour.
The telescope cannot see through clouds, so on overcast nights there will be no observing.
You will not see anything like a Hubble image through the Grenfell telescope. Two important reasons are that the Hubble telescope has 16 times more light-collecting area and that Hubble is located above the light-dimming and distorting atmosphere, but mainly because your eyes cannot store up light the way the Hubble cameras can. Most of the incredible colour astronomical pictures that you see on TV and in magazines come from telescope cameras that store the incoming light for tens of minutes to hours. Then someone adds together multiple images in software and processes the result for maximum effect. However, when you look through the eyepiece of the Grenfell telescope your eyes will see the VERY LIGHT that has traveled from the planets or stars or galaxies - it has not been processed! Check out our own telescope camera images in the Image Gallery.