Observatory Nights

Robert A. Schommer Astronomical Observatory

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

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Next Public Open Night (weather permitting)

Thursday, 16 January 2020, 08:30 p.m. EST to 10:30 p.m. EST

Status (as of 10 January 2020, 02:15 a.m. EST):  Will be held, weather permitting.

If you have any questions about the public open nights, please call 732-735-5483 and leave a voice message. Your call will be returned.

For general information, please call 848-445-8973 or 848-445-8785 (08:30 a.m. to 04:30 p.m.).

 

Schedule of Public Open Nights (weather permitting)

January 2020

second Thursday (January 09th): M31, Almach, NGC 457, h & χ Persei, η Persei, M45, M42, Betelgeuse, Sirius, Neptune, Uranus, and the Moon (full)
third Thursday (January 16th): M31, Almach, NGC 457, h & χ Persei, η Persei, M45, M42, Betelgeuse, Sirius, Neptune, and Uranus
fourth Thursday (January 23rd): M31, Almach, NGC 457, h & χ Persei, η Persei, M45, M42, Betelgeuse, Sirius, Neptune, and Uranus

February 2020

second Thursday (February 13th): M31, Almach, NGC 457, h & χ Persei, η Persei, M45, M42, Betelgeuse, Sirius, Venus, and Uranus
third Thursday (February 20th): M31, Almach, NGC 457, h & χ Persei, η Persei, M45, M42, Betelgeuse, Sirius, Venus, and Uranus
fourth Thursday (February 27th): M31, Almach, NGC 457, h & χ Persei, η Persei, M45, M42, Betelgeuse, Sirius, Venus-Moon-Uranus appulse, and the Moon (waxing crescent)

March 2020

second Thursday (March 12th): Almach, NGC 457, h & χ Persei, η Persei, M45, M42, Betelgeuse, Sirius, Arcturus, and Uranus-Venus appulse
third Thursday (March 19th): Almach, NGC 457, h & χ Persei, η Persei, M45, M42, Betelgeuse, Sirius, Arcturus, Uranus, and Venus
fourth Thursday (March 26th): Almach, NGC 457, h & χ Persei, η Persei, M45, M42, Betelgeuse, Sirius, Arcturus, Uranus-Moon appulse, Venus, and the Moon (waxing crescent)

April 2020

second Thursday (April 09th): h & χ Persei, η Persei, M45, M42, Betelgeuse, Sirius, Arcturus, M5, M13, and Venus
third Thursday (April 16th): h & χ Persei, η Persei, M45, M42, Betelgeuse, Sirius, Arcturus, M5, M13, and Venus
fourth Thursday (April 23rd): h & χ Persei, η Persei, M45, M42, Betelgeuse, Sirius, Arcturus, M5, M13, and Venus

May 2020

second Thursday (May 14th): Arcturus, M5, Antares, M13, Vega, Deneb, Albireo, M57, and Venus
third Thursday (May 21st): Arcturus, M5, Antares, M13, Vega, Deneb, Albireo, M57, and Mercury-Venus appulse
fourth Thursday (May 28th): Arcturus, M5, Antares, M13, Vega, Deneb, Albireo, M57, Mercury, and the Moon (waxing crescent)

June 2020

second Thursday (June 11th): Arcturus, M5, Antares, M13, Vega, Deneb, Albireo, M57, and M11
third Thursday (June 18th): Arcturus, M5, Antares, M13, Vega, Deneb, Albireo, M57, and M11
fourth Thursday (June 25th): Arcturus, M5, Antares, M13, Vega, Deneb, Albireo, M57, M11, and the Moon (waxing crescent)

July 2020

second Thursday (July 09th): Arcturus, M5, Antares, M13, Vega, Deneb, Albireo, M57, M11, Jupiter, and Saturn
third Thursday (July 16th): Arcturus, M5, Antares, M13, Vega, Deneb, Albireo, M57, M11, Jupiter (near opposition), and Saturn
fourth Thursday (July 23rd): Arcturus, M5, Antares, M13, Vega, Deneb, Albireo, M57, M11, Jupiter, and Saturn (near opposition)

Public Observing at the Robert A. Schommer Astronomical Observatory

Members of the Rutgers University community and the general public are invited to observe the night sky through the 20-inch optical telescope of the Robert A. Schommer Astronomical Observatory on the second and fourth Thursdays of every month, weather permitting. The observatory is open for two hours starting at 8:30 p.m. (October through March) or starting about one hour after sunset (April through September, when it is not yet dark at 8:30 p.m.).

Observing will be canceled for that night if the skies are cloudy at the beginning of the observing session. Please check this web-site for the most up-to-date information.

Naked-eye visibility of satellites from the Robert A. Schommer Astronomical Observatory may be found at the Heavens-Above Main Page.

Location

The Robert A. Schommer Astronomical Observatory is located in the dome on the roof of the Serin Physics Laboratories on the corner of Frelinghuysen Road and Allison Road on the Busch Campus of Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. Our address is 136 Frelinghuysen Road, Piscataway, NJ and directions to our building are available. Park in lot 53 (between the building and the street) or lot 53A (about one block east on the other side of Frelinghuysen Road). Enter the doors on the west end of the building (facing Allison Road) and take the stairs (left or right sides of the lobby) or the elevator (left side of the lobby) to the fourth floor.

Scientific Highlights

Transit of Venus -- June 05, 2012

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This image was taken at 08:03 p.m. EDT through a narrow gap in the clouds during the only few minutes that the transit was visible at the Schommer Observatory. The dark band in the lower-left corner of the image is the roof of the Pharmacy Building. The edge of the silhouette of Venus is ragged because of blurring by the Earth's atmosphere -- the Sun was only 3.3 degrees above the horizon. The 20-inch telescope was stopped down to a 4-inch aperture covered with a Baader solar filter. This single-color image was taken through an SBIG STL-11000M camera with a V-band (green) filter and an exposure time of 0.05 sec.

 

The Triangulum Galaxy, Messier 33 (M33)

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This color image was created by combining three images taken through blue, green, and red (B-, V-, and R-band) images taken with the CCD camera on the 20-inch telescope of the Schommer Observatory.

 

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This web-site was most recently modified on October 25, 2013.