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Grundy Observatory Public Observing Night

Grundy Observatory Public Observing Night

Image courtesy of Joseph R. Grundy Observatory FB Page

What is it?

Franklin and Marshall’s observatory opens up to the public, and the F&M students who run it turn the telescopes on cool objects in the night sky. I will also be in the classroom giving a space that I try to make accessible and interesting to children, students, and adults from the community.

What can I see?

We have a 130-year-old, 11” Clark refractor that yields an amazingly crisp view. Through both telescopes, you can see crescent Venus and Mercury, the rings of Saturn, and the Red Spot of Jupiter and the four Galilean moons. Our other telescope is a newer 16” Cassegrain reflector built in the 60’s with the Observatory. It’s a little more powerful, which helps it get better views of deep sky objects like galaxies and nebula. The objects that we focus on will depend on what is up in the sky at the time, and what isn’t being blocked by clouds, so we can’t promise to pull up your favorite planet or object on demand.


The 3rd Monday of the month, from 8-10:30 PM. The ones this semester will be one on September 18th, October 16th, November 20th, and December 18th. Mark your calendars if you are interested, but keep in mind it could be cancelled due to weather.

How will I know if it’s cancelled?

Check the Grundy Facebook page: Joseph R. Grundy Observatory. Before each Public Observing Night, there will be an event created. If it is going to be cancelled, there will be a post saying so by noon the day of. But checking the weather for clouds, or simply looking up before going will give a good indication of whether or not we’ll be clouded out.

Where is it, and how do I get there?

The address is: 1000 Wilson Dr, Lancaster, Pennsylvania 17603. The driveway is long and unmarked, so it may be hard to miss. It is by the softball fields, for people who know where they are. Unfortunately, there are currently no shuttles that run to Grundy, but it less than a mile walk, or you could find a friend with a car. Contact me if transportation is a problem, though. I have my email below.

Other questions?

If you have any questions, please contact me at:

Noah Lamb ([email protected])

John Combs ([email protected])

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