Friday, August 18, 2017

Observatory Night for Friday 18-Aug-2017 Cancelled due to severe thunderstorm watch

For folks who have registered for this evening, the event is cancelled. There is a severe thunderstorm watch for Montgomery County tonight.

The Fall 2017 dates are posted on the website, or you can go straight to the Eventbrite reservations link:

Just a reminder- MC is hosting an event for the solar eclipse at our Takoma Park campus planetarium. We'll get started Monday 21 August at 12:30 PM.

Details are here.

I'll be there with Dr. Harold Williams. I hope you can join us. :)

As always, thank you so much for your interest in astronomy and our observatory!

Event Schedule for Fall 2017

Fall 2017 dates for Observatory Guest Nights are below.

Here's hoping for clear skies!

Friday 1 September 2017 : 8 - 9 PM
Friday 15 September 2017 : 8 - 9 PM

Friday 6 October 2017 : 8 - 9 PM
Friday 20 October 2017 : 8 - 9 PM

Friday 3 November 2017 : 8 - 9 PM
Friday 17 November 2017 : 8 - 9 PM

Because of occupancy limitations on the roof, we require guests to make reservations via Eventbrite (

Please note:

Events will be cancelled for bad weather. I will make the call as soon as I am able, usually about 2 hours prior to the event start time. An announcement will be sent to the email address you registered with Eventbrite, and I will post the status on this website.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Observatory Night for Friday 4 August is on (but we may have a few clouds)

For folks who have reservations for the observatory night this evening, we are a go! We may get clouded out before 10 PM, but I'm hopeful we'll at least be able to see the Moon and planets. With the expected haze and that nice big gibbous Moon, viewing deep sky objects will be limited.

I'm going to open up tonight in the hopes that we'll have more clear sky than clouds, but with the caveat that the seeing might not be good.

We'll get started at 9 PM on the fourth floor of the Science Center in room SC 406. Signs will be posted directing you. We'll go up to the observatory together and see what we can see.

Thank you so much for your interest in astronomy and our observatory!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Solar eclipse events

Happy August everyone! Below please find information on the solar eclipse event at Montgomery College. I've also included a list of August events at the nearby Latitude Observatory in Gaithersburg, MD.

Montgomery College will be hosting an eclipse event event at our Takoma Park campus on Monday 21 August 2017 from 12:30 to 3:00 PM.

During the eclipse, we will connect to sites that are in totality and project the event on to the planetarium dome for viewing. Dr. Harold Williams will also present a planetarium show explaining eclipses and occultations. If it is clear we will have telescopes set up outside to view the partial phases of the eclipse safely.

The event is free and open to the public. Additional details can be found on the Montgomery College Planetarium webpage. I hope you can join us!

The Latitude Observatory in Gaithersburg is hosting the following events in August:

  • Saturday 12 August 2017Perseids Meteor Shower (8:00 PM to 1:00 AM) Bring blankets and chairs to sit or lie out on the lawn watching for meteors.
  • Sunday 20 August 2017Preview Screening of "The Farthest: Voyager in Space", from HHMI Tangled Bank Studios, is a beautiful new PBS documentary highlighting the story of the Voyager missions. Movie is from 3:00 to 5:00 PM. Tickets will be distributed starting at 2:00 PM. Arts Barn, 311 Kent Square Road, Gaithersburg, Md.
  • 21 Monday August 2017Solar Eclipse Party (12:30 to 4:30 PM) An afternoon of solar related activities and solar observations as well as safe solar viewers for participants.