Astronomy Events | Physics | SIU | Night Sky Network

Home
Southern Illinois University

CONTACT

SIU.EDU

College of Science

Telescopes

Public Astronomy Observations

The SIU Carbondale Physics Department hosts several free public observations a year on our observation deck on top of the Neckers building as well as the observation area at the SIU Farms Dark Site. Most observations are on evenings when light pollution on campus is at a minimum. We typically observe bright sky objects such as the Moon, major planets, star clusters, nebula and some deep sky objects such as the Andromeda Galaxy. All observations are weather dependent and space limited. The Neckers observation deck is not handicap accessible, however we can arrange for telescopes to be setup at ground level for individuals not able to take stairs to the obsevation deck.   If you have a large group or other special needs, please contact the event coordinator to let them know in advance.  Children accompanied by adults are welcome. For up to the minute event info and online disucssion, see the physics department FaceBook event info page:

Facebook Physics Eventshttps://www.facebook.com/pg/SIUC.Physics/events

Observation Schedule  Winter 2017 - Spring 2018


CANCELLED - Sunday, November 12, 5:00pm to 7:00pm @ Neckers

Free public astronomy observation hosted by the SIU Carbondale Physics Department at the Neckers observation deck. Visible this evening: Saturn, Ring Nebula, M31, M13, Mercury Uranus. The observation will include a presentation on the night sky. Children accompanied by adults are welcome.

Sunday, December 10, 8:30pm to 10pm.  Geminids Meteor Shower @ SIU Farms Dark Site.

Free public astronomy observation hosted by the SIU Carbondale Physics Department at the SIU Farms Dark Site. The site is located at: Autumn Point Rd, Carbondale, IL 62901:     37.710270, -89.254787 Enter the site from the Chautauqua road entrance. 


Site has 10 concrete telescope pads, an open observation area, and parking. No bathrooms or additional facilities are on this site. Bring your own lawn chairs and blankets. A few public telescopes will be on hand, but the real show, the Geminids Meteor Shower, is best without the use of a telescope. Geminid meteors are visible December 4 - 16. Up to 120 meteors per minute are visible at the peak of the meteor shower around December 13 - 14.

Sunday, January 21 6:30pm to 8pm @ Neckers

Free public astronomy observation hosted by the SIU Carbondale Physics Department at the Neckers observation deck. Telescopes are provided. Visible this evening: Ring Nebula, Andromeda, Orion Nebula. The observation will include a presentation on the night sky. Children accompanied by adults are welcome.

Sunday, February 18, 7:30pm to 9pm @ SIU Farms Dark Site. 

Free public astronomy observation hosted by the SIU Carbondale Physics Department at the SIU Farms Dark Site. The site is located at: Autumn Point Rd, Carbondale, IL 62901
37.710270, -89.254787 Enter the site from the Chautauqua road entrance. 

Site has 10 concrete telescope pads, an open observation area, and parking. No bathrooms or additional facilities are on this site. Bring your own lawn chairs and blankets. A few public telescopes will be available. Amatuers are encouraged to bring their own scopes and setup, no more than 1/2 hour early at the site. Several deep sky objects (clusters, nebula, galaxies) will be visible this evening.

Sunday, March 4, 7:30pm - 9pm @ Neckers

Free public astronomy observation hosted by the SIU Carbondale Physics Department at the Neckers observation deck. Telescopes are provided. Visible this evening: Several deep sky objects (clusters, nebula, galaxies) The observation will include a presentation on the night sky. Children accompanied by adults are welcome.

Sunday, April 22, 8pm to 9:30pm @ Neckers

Free public astronomy observation hosted by the SIU Carbondale Physics Department at the Neckers observation deck. Telescopes are provided. Visible this evening: The Moon, Venus (sets at 8:15pm), Jupiter. The observation will include a presentation on the night sky. Children accompanied by adults are welcome.

Sunday, May 6, 8:30pm to 10pm @ Neckers

Free public astronomy observation hosted by the SIU Carbondale Physics Department at the Neckers observation deck. Telescopes are provided. Visible this evening: Venus (sets at 8:45pm), Jupiter. The observation will include a presentation on the night sky. Children accompanied by adults are welcome

Additional dates TBA

Alternate / Special Observations

Campus and community groups can arrange special observation on campus, or we can bring telescopes to you. To make arrangements, contact Bob Baer at 618-453-2729, rbaer@physics.siu.edu.

Observation Deck and Telescopes

Telescope

The observation deck is 624 square feet in size. It is built out of 2" thick rubber matting for vibration isolation. The primary telescope is a 14" Meade LX600. This computer guided telescope is used for all observation events as well as the lab portion of PHYS 103 (Astronomy). Several additional scopes are setup for observations as needed including Celestron 8" SCTs, a Coronado SolarMax II, and a Stelarvue SV105 Raptor (105mm refractor).

Physics

Physics


Physics
Stellarvue SV105 Raptor

Previous Event Photos

Solar TelescopeJune 5, 4:00pm - 10:30 pm. Special daytime solar observation - Transit of Venus. If you missed the transit, you can see photos of the event here. Special thanks to the Astronomical Association of Southern Illinois as well as all the people who turned out and helped out on the day of the event.

What Can You See?

Moon and Saturn

The most spectacular viewing is of the Moon and major planets such as Jupiter, Saturn, Venus and Mars. On clear nights, you can easily see the rings of Saturn and detailed striations on Jupiter. Brighter objects such as the Great Orion Nebula, the Andromeda Galaxy and several clusters are also visible visually.

Dimmer deep sky objects are typically only visible during evenings with low humidity and not much cloud cover.  On select night, deep sky cameras are utilized to display images of objects otherwise not visible though visual observations.