Events & Public Open Nights


The SFSU Observatory regularly hosts viewings of special astronomical events. Past events include the transit of Mercury in 2006 (photo above; Mercury is the smaller dark spot), the transit of Venus in 2012, partial solar eclipses in 2012, 2014, and 2017, and numerous lunar eclipses. We also hold periodic solar observing events.

Watch this space for announcements of the next special event!

Public Open Nights

The SFSU Observatory is once again open to the public!

Click on the Schedule link to see the days and hours for this semester.

The Observatory is open to students, staff, and members of the public two or three nights per week during much of the school year. Visitors of all ages are welcome. Observations can only be made when skies are clear, so please be attentive to the weather, and check the observatory facebook page or call us before you come. It can be surprisingly cold on the roof, so dress warmly. Student docents will be on hand to help visitors understand what they are seeing, and answer questions.

What you will see through the telescopes depends on the time of year, the phase of the Moon, and the positions of the planets in their orbits. Fall-semester highlights include the colorful double star Albireo, the great Hercules star cluster, and the Andromeda galaxy. Spring-semester highlights include the Pleiades star cluster, the Orion Nebula star-forming region, and the Crab supernova remnant-- left over from a star that exploded in 1054 AD. When Jupiter is up, as many as four of its moons may be visible. When Saturn is visible you will see its icy rings and its moon Titan. The Moon is a favorite whenever it's up, and is especially good to view during waxing crescent phase.