Our open houses have two formats:

  1. Roughly every other weekend on the first clear evening of Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.
  2. Some Monday evenings, when we don't have a Group Tour booked. These events go ahead regardless of the weather. (These are currently not being offered, see the Upcoming Events page, but could be offered in the future.)

All upcoming events of all types are listed on our Upcoming Events page where one can reserve tickets. Below is information about each type of event:


Weekend Open Houses

What

They generally last one to two hours and involve looking at various astronomical objects through the telescope and discussing the nature of these objects. We may also use a fenced-in Observation Deck on the roof of the building to show you the constellations or objects in one of our smaller portable telescopes. These events are suitable for about ages 8 and up. Note: accessing the Observatory requires an elevator ride to the 22nd floor then a walk up two flights of stairs; it is not a fully physically-accessible space.

When

Free Public Open Houses are scheduled roughly every other weekend. On the scheduled weekend, the open house will take place on the first clear evening of Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. If all three nights are cloudy, we still plan to go-ahead on Sunday. At the times of year when it gets dark early enough, we may schedule two events per evening - refer to the schedule.

Where

Meet on the first floor of the Loyola Residence Building, near the Art Gallery. A campus map is here (PDF). The Loyola Residence building is marked LR on the map (the best entrance is between the L and SH on the campus map). Here is also a link to a Google Map location of the best building entrance. If you are late you may miss out — we have to escort you through a secure access door to reach the observatory.


Monday Open Houses

What

They generally last about 90 minutes and start in a classroom with a ~45 minute presentation about astronomy (usually a Tour of the Universe or another topic of current interest) followed by a visit to the Observatory. If the skies are clear, we will look at various astronomical objects through our big telescope and discuss the nature of these objects. If skies are cloudy, we'll learn more about how our telescope works. These events are suitable for ages 12 and up.

When

Free Public Open Houses are scheduled on some Monday evenings, when we don't have a Group Tour booked. These events go ahead regardless of clear skies. In fairness to others, if you plan to not attend if the weather is poor, don't reserve a ticket - attend a Weekend Open House instead.

Where

Meet on the first floor of the Loyola Residence Building, near the Art Gallery. A campus map is here (PDF). The Loyola Residence building is marked LR on the map (the best entrance is between the L and SH on the campus map). Here is also a link to a Google Map location of the best building entrance. If you are late you may miss out — we have to escort you through a secure access door to reach the observatory.