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Observing in NYC

by Steve Beyer on


Venus and Moon with Earthshine
Venus and the crescent Moon with Earthshine.
Credit: Bob King/News Tribune

With arrival of spring, evening temperatures become more comfortable for sky watching. If you would like to look through a telescope at Jupiter, Saturn, the Moon, or beautiful sky features of the season such as the Beehive star cluster in the constellation of the Crab or double star systems such as Castor in Gemini, Algieba in Leo, or Mizar in the Big Dipper, there are a number of observatories in the New York City area offering public viewing sessions. Check their websites for details and remember none use x-ray telescopes for public viewing, so if it’s raining or cloudy you won’t see anything in the sky beyond the clouds.

Amateur Astronomers Association of New York, an organization with links to the Hayden Planetarium going back to its opening in 1935, holds regularly scheduled star parties at sites around the city. Visitors are welcomed to look through members’ portable telescopes on those occasions.
Rutherfurd Observatory, Columbia University – open to the public on specified Friday evenings during months when classes are in session.
Astrophysical Observatory of The College of Staten Island – open for public viewing on certain evenings and afternoons for solar observing, during spring and autumn semesters.