FALL 2017 Astronomy Observing Sessions
Check back often to see changes in scheduling due to weather or other reasons.
Also see us at:
The George Mason University Observatory at the Fairfax Campus building
Research Hall formerly known as Research I (see campus map
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.
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.
- Monday 28 August 2017: Talk by Dr. Harold Geller of GMU starts at 7:30PM followed by observing beginning at 8PM weather permitting.
- Monday 4 September 2017: LABOR DAY HOLIDAY - SCHOOL CLOSED
- Monday 11 September 2017: Talk by Dr. Joe Pesce of NSF starts at 7:00PM followed by observing beginning at 7:30PM weather perimitting.
- Monday 18 September 2017: NO SCHEDULED TALK NOR OBSERVING
- Monday 25 September 2017: Talk by Dr. Daniel Kocevski of NASA on "How All of the Elements in the Universe are Created" starts at 6:30 PM followed by observing beginning at 7:00 PM weather permitting.
- Monday 9 October 2017 -- COLUMBUS DAY HOLIDAY
- Monday 16 October 2017: Talk by Dr. William Cannon starts at 6:30PM followed by observing session beginning at 7PM weather permitting.
- Monday 30 October 2017: Talk by Dr. Sharon Wang starts at 6:00PM followed by observing s
ession beginning at 6:30PM weather permitting.
- Monday 13 November 2017: Talk by Sean Terry starts at 5:30 PM followed by observing s
ession beginning at 6:00 PM weather permitting.
- Thursday 23 November 2017: UNIVERSITY CLOSED -- HAPPY THANKSGIVING WEEKEND
- Monday 27 November 2017: Talk starts at 5:30 PM followed by observing session beginning at 6:00PM weather permitting.
ENJOY the WINTER HOLIDAYS and BREAK from classes
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.
Please attend for your own enjoyment! All are invited, so bring a friend.
Dr. Harold Geller
College of Science
School of Physics, Astronomy and Computational Science
George Mason University
4400 University Drive
Fairfax, Virginia 22030