UNH Observatory


The New England Fall Astronomy Festival (NEFAF) for 2018 is a GO! 

NEFAF is back with another fun-filled weekend under the stars. NEFAF 2018 will take place at UNH Observatory on Friday and Saturday, September 14 & 15, 2018. Our special guest this year will be Dr. Fran Bagenal, a Planetary Physicist from the University of Colorado - Boulder and is a co-investigator and team leader of the plasma investigations on NASA's New Horizons mission to Pluto and beyond and the Juno mission at Jupiter. Follow the link below for all of the latest NEFAF information including a program of all of our activities and speakers.
See the NEFAF website for more information. 

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Viewing Opportunities at the UNH Observatory

Free Public Sessions

  • The first and third Saturday of every month: 8-10 pm from late September through March and 9-11 pm from April through August
  • Makes a great family outing!
For the Fall of 2018 our Public Observing Sessions are scheduled for:
Saturday, September 1 from 9 - 11 PM
Saturday, September 15 NEFAF WEEKEND
Saturday, October 6 from 8 - 10 PM (NOTE FALL HOURS START)
Saturday, October 20 from 8 - 10 PM
Saturday, November 3 from 8 - 10 PM
Saturday, November 17 from 8 - 10 PM LEONID METEOR SHOWER PEAKS
Saturday, December 1 from 8 - 10 PM
Saturday, December 15 from 8 - 10 PM
Saturday, January 5 from 8 - 10 PM
Saturday, January 19 from 8 - 10 PM
Saturday, February 2 from 8 - 10 PM

On the afternoon of a scheduled public observing session we will post a "go-no-go" note on the Observatory's Facebook page.  If the sky is cloudy ar sunset, the session will be cancelled, but check here to be sure: https://www.facebook.com/UNHObservatory/

Free Private Sessions

  • For groups of 8 or more
  • If you are a part of a home school group and want your students to explore the fascinating science of astronomy, contact us.  We are happy to work with you on a custom program that covers essential elements of modern astronomy. 
  • Sessions can be set up weeknights or weekends (based on availability) 
  • A great idea for birthday parties, school trips, Boy/Cub/Girl Scouts, couples night, and so much more!! 
  • For more information, email us at unh.observer@unh.edu

Other Events

Periodically throughout the year, the UNH Observatory hosts or is involved in other various special events at UNH and around the Seacoast. Be sure to check our website often to keep in the know!

  • New England Fall Astronomy Festival    

    Since 2011, the UNH Physics Department has teamed up with the NH Astronomical Society to bring this free, family-friendly event to the public.

    Enjoy talks by amateurs and experts, hands-on games and activities, educational presentations and stories for kids, interaction with space science researchers and students from UNH, displays from other NH science advocates like the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center and the Margaret and H.A. Rey Center, and of course observing from dozens of telescopes!

  • The New England Fall Astronomy Festival (NEFAF) will take place this year on Friday and Saturday, September 14 & 15 at its usual location - on the grounds surrounding the UNH Observatory on Spinney Lane, which is located on the west edge of the Durham campus.  Stay tuned for additional details later tis spring.

  • Sidewalk Astronomy

    Join the UNH Observatory staff as we sporadically take to the streets of Durham to bring the skies to you.

    You may find us at one of our viewing stations on campus: in front of the Wildcat statue in front of the Whittemore Center; in the traffic triangle at the intersection of Main Street and Mill Road.

    These events are free and open to any interested in getting a chance to look at the night sky.

    These events are weather permitting and will not be held in the event of cloudy skies, rain, or snow.

Contact the UNH Observatory

  • Electronic

    The best way to reach us is to email unh.observer@unh.edu. We'll try our best to respond within 24 hours.

    You can also try posting to or messaging us at our Facebook page. 

  • Phone

    If you'd like to speak to someone on the phone DURING UNIVERSITY HOURS (8am-4:30pm) in regards to an Observatoy inquiry, please call the UNH Physics Department office at 603-862-6054 to speak with the Physics Department's Administrative Assistant Michelle Waltz, or at 603-862-2669 to speak with the Physics Department's Administrative Manager, Katie Makem-Boucher. If you'd like to call the Observatory directly, you can call 603-862-3996. We are very rarely actually in the Observatory, but if you'd like to leave a message, we will do our best to get back to you. You can also call John Gianforte the Diredctor of the Observatory at 603-862-2829.  Feel free to leave a message if John is not available.

  • Post

    If you would like to send us something, you can write to us at:

    UNH Observatory
    c/o Physics Department
    DeMeritt Hall 237
    9 Library Way
    Durham, NH 03824