Offering the community a chance to marvel.

Valpo’s astronomy faculty hosts several free public offerings each semester for the Valparaiso community to enjoy views of the moon, planets, star clusters, and galaxies. These are free to the public.

On clear nights, the open house takes place at the Valpo observatory. Valpo’s telescope and the remotely-operated SARA telescopes are utilized. To confirm if the weather is clear enough for the Observatory to open, call 617.464.5202 or visit this website after 5:00 p.m. on the date of the open house.

When adverse weather prevents the use of the observatory, the group meets at Neils Science Center planetarium for a tour of the night sky for the current time of year — identifying and locating constellations, planets, and other astronomical objects.

Upcoming Open Houses
Fri., Sep. 1 8:30 – 9:30 pm Observatory
Fri., Sep. 15 8:30 – 9:30 pm Observatory
Fri., Sep. 29 8:30 – 9:30 pm Observatory
Fri., Oct. 20 7:30 – 8:30 pm Public Talk
Fri., Oct. 27 8:30 – 9:30 pm Observatory
  9:30 – 10:30 pm SARA Telescope Demo
Thurs., Nov. 2 7:00 – 8:00 pm Public Talk
Fri., Nov. 10 8:30 – 9:30 pm Observatory
Fri., Dec. 8 7:30 – 8:30 pm Public Talk
  8:30 – 9:30 pm Observatory
Special Public Lectures

Thursday, Nov. 2 – “NASA’s Kepler Mission: Exoplanet Discoveries and the Possibility of other Earths” by Dr. Steve Howell, NASA Ames Research Center

Friday, Dec. 8 – “The Christmas Star: An Astronomer’s Investigation” by Dr. Bruce Hrivnak, VU Dept. Physics & Astronomy

Private Programs

Groups may request private night-sky planetarium programs, which are typically scheduled prior to public programs on scheduled open house nights. To set up a group visit, call 219.464.5369.

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Valpo students demonstrate the use of the campus observatory
Valpo students demonstrate the use of the campus observatory.
An image of the Crab Nebula supernova remnant, taken at an open house using the SARA telescope
An image of the Crab Nebula supernova remnant, taken at an open house using the SARA telescope.