Astronomy Nights are held on the first and third Thursday of each month that the university is in session. Astronomy Night activities are appropriate for ages 7 and up. The free program begins with an indoor planetarium show at the John R. Kirk Planetarium (tickets are REQUIRED for the planetarium show). A second show will be offered if the first one reaches capacity. After the planetarium show Smolen Observatory will be open for telescope viewing only if the sky is clear (no tickets are required at the Observatory). Call the Observatory at 845-257-1110 to hear a message indicating if the public viewing has been canceled due to cloudy weather. Visitors can participate in either the planetarium show, observatory telescope viewing, or both.
Astronomy Night telescope viewing begins shortly after sunset and therefore the start time changes according to the seasons. The current Astronomy Night schedule is as follows:
|Season||Dates||2016-2017 Dates||Planetarium show times
||Observatory open (if sky is clear)
|Fall||September – Daylight Savings Time ends (mid-November)||Sept. 1
|7:30 p.m. (8:30 p.m. if necessary)
Daylight Savings Time ends (mid-November) – Daylight Savings Time begins (mid-March)
|6:30 p.m. (7:30 p.m. if necessary)||7:30-9:30 p.m.|
Daylight Savings Time begins (mid-March) – May
|7:30 p.m. (8:30 p.m. if necessary)||8:30-10:30 p.m.|
|Summer||May – August
There will be no show on July 6. A makeup show has been added on June 29.
June 1 (one show only at 8:30)
June 15 (one show only at 8:30)
|8:30 p.m. (9:30 p.m. if necessary)
Free tickets for all Astronomy Night Planetarium shows are available one week before each show and must be reserved online. There is a limit of 5 tickets per group. Printed tickets must be presented at the door for admission. We will no longer be issuing tickets at the door. Tickets are void if presented after the start time listed on the ticket - latecomers will NOT be seated.