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FALL 2014 Astronomy Observing Sessions

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Check back often to see changes in scheduling due to weather or other reasons.


Also see us at:
http://observatory.onmason.com/
gmuobservatory@gmail.com
Twitter: @GMUObservatory

The George Mason University Observatory at the Fairfax Campus building Research Hall formerly known as Research I (see campus map here) officially opened 24 January 2007. No one is allowed on the roof without authority of the Department of Physics and Astronomy. There will be a number of informal night sky observing sessions scheduled this semester. Attendance at these sessions is open to all students, faculty, staff and the interested public. The primary telescope used in the observatory atop the pier is the new 0.8m (~32") Ritchey-Chretien telescope. There is a 12 inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope used on the patio that provides good views of the sky as well. We still possess the 6" refractor originally built by GMU students in 1975 (it is on display in the glass alcove).

Please note that the observing session will be canceled if the sky is more than half overcast one hour before the session is scheduled to begin, or if it is too windy (>30mph) to open the observatory dome. If in doubt, check weather forecast here or here, and check the Clear Sky Chart for the area and check back on this webpage before scheduled observing sessions.


The location of the observing sessions is the observatory at Research Hall. Access to the observatory is limited. Guests will be met in Research Hall lobby by the main elevators. If you are late, you can stay by the elvators and someone will meet you, after you call the observatory at 703-993-9558 and have been acknowledged by observatory personnel. The observing sessions will begin near the times indicated below and will last approximately 1.5 hours weather permitting.
NOTE: The observatory deck has very rough flooring. Guests are advised to WEAR ONLY CLOSED TOED SHOES. NO SANDALS or other open toed shoes.
The sessions are currently scheduled for specific MONDAY EVENINGS. To learn more about the observatory visit the observatory website.

Observing Session Schedule - SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT PRIOR NOTICE:

Remember: Check here about 1 hour before coming to Research Hall in the event of clouds/rain/other reasons for cancellation.

  • PLEASE NOTE: There will be no more scheduled observing sessions until the SPRING semester begins.

    ENJOY the WINTER HOLIDAYS and BREAK from classes



    Coming this summer, a book titled "Extraterrestrial Altruism" edited by Douglas Vakoch, Director of Interstellar Message Composition at the SETI Institute, with a chapter by Dr. Harold Geller, tentatively titled "Harmful ETI Hypothesis Denied; Visiting ETIs Likely Altruists," see http://www.springer.com/astronomy/astrobiology/book/978-3-642-37749-5

    PLEASE NOTE: If these dates are not convenient, or if you live in Maryland, or if you'd just like more observing opportunities, you may want to consider visiting the University of Maryland College Park Observatory. The director of the observatory is Elizabeth Warner, and she runs many great programs at the UMCP observatory.
    ALSO NOTE: If you have the time, and the interest in more details about research in astrophysics, come join in our Astrophysics Journal Club.
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    Please attend for your own enjoyment! All are invited, so bring a friend.

    Dr. Harold Geller
    Observatory Director
    College of Science
    School of Physics, Astronomy and Computational Science
    George Mason University
    4400 University Drive
    Fairfax, Virginia 22030
    703-993-1276
    703-993-1269(fax)