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SPRING 2017 Astronomy Observing Sessions

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

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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.


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

PLEASE NOTE: NO more scheduled observing sessions until the FALL semester.

GMU Astronomy Observatory will be
for Repairs and Maintenance


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
Observatory Director
College of Science
Department of Physics and Astronomy
George Mason University
4400 University Drive
Fairfax, Virginia 22030