Astronomy Events | Physics | SIU | Night Sky Network

Southern Illinois University



College of Agriculture, Life and Physical Sciences

Southern Illinois Star Party, AASI member looking through telescope

Public Astronomy Observations

NOTE: All public astronomy observations this semester are cancelled due to COVID-19.

Observation Schedule 2020

Fall 2020 - Public Observations at Neckers


All observations are cancelled due to COVID-19.


Observation Deck and Telescopes


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 Stellarvue SV105 Raptor (105mm refractor).



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.

Previous Event Photos

Mars Opposition Star Party 2018. Star party at the SIU Farms for the Mars Opposition.  See photos of the event on Bob Baer's Flickr photo stream.

Eclipse 2017 at SIU Carbondale.  Southern Illinois University Carbondale hosted 30,000+ visitors to campus August 18 - 21, 2017 for four days of eclipse themed events capped off by Eclipse Day at Saluki Stadium. If you missed this, you'll want to mark your calendars for the next total solar eclipse to pass through Carbondale on April 8, 2024.  Check out the photos at: