Observatory Sessions

UNH Observatory

Observatory Sessions

Public Sessions

Public observing sessions are held on the first and third Saturday of every month, year-round.

2017 Early Summer Schedule:

For a list of all events, see here.

Waning Crescent

Saturday, May 20, 2017 9-11 pm

Waxing Gibbous

Saturday, June 3, 2017, 9-11 pm

Waning Crescent

Saturday, June 17, 2017, 9-11 pm
Waxing Gibbous Saturday, July 1, 2017, 9-11 pm
Waning Gibbous Saturday, July 15, 2017, 9-11 pm

All sessions will be at the UNH Observatory and will extend from either 8-10 pm (September through March) or 9-11 pm (April through September)

These observing sessions are FREE and open to the public (which includes UNH students). However, be advised that we are unable to control the weather at the moment. So if you hear thunder or see snow falling in Durham, there's a good chance there's not going to be a session that night. You can check the UNH Observatory FB page on the afternoon of a public session and look for the "go-no-go" post that will tell you if the sky is clear over Durham. Check here: https://www.facebook.com/UNHObservatory/

These events are great for children, especially first graders and older. Special arrangements can be made for groups to have private viewing sessions at no charge. If you have an interested group of 8 or more, please contact us at unh.observer@unh.edu!

Click here for directions to the Observatory and be sure to check out our FAQs page.

One page supplemental information sheets of some of the objects in the night sky

Provided by UNH Observatory staff member, Bill Raymond.

Private Sessions

If you have a group of at least 8 persons and would like to schedule a special viewing session, please feel free to email us at unh.observer@unh.edu.

Private sessions at the UNH Observatory are great for:

  • Educational outreach for local schools, specifically Astronomy classes
  • Boy, Cub, Girl Scouts looking to earn badge/pin/beltloops in Astronomy
  • Birthday parties
  • Social events for UNH students, student groups, and departments
  • Family-friendly outings

Our Manager will work with you to find a suitable date and time to accommodate your group. Of course, we are still unable to control the weather at the moment, so please be understanding if your scheduled session is cancelled due to clouds or inclement weather. Usually it is best to plan ahead and select two or three nights when your group would be available for a session. So if you hear thunder or see snow falling in Durham, there's a good chance there's not going to be a session that night.  As with public sessions, these sessions are free for all courtesy of the UNH Physics Department. Unfortunately due to limited staff and the high demand for Observatory sessions, we are unable to offer private sessions for groups of less than 8 people. If you have a group of less than 8 we suggest that you try to make it to one of our public sessions, offered the first and third Saturday of each month. Please be advised that during the school year (September through mid-May), Tuesday and Wednesday nights are unavailable as the observatory will be in use by our undergraduate astronomy class.