UNH Physics Department Observatory



You're probably looking for the current UNH Observatory web page. Which is now located at http://www.physics.unh.edu/observatory/observatory.html. I've kept the original version up for my own nostalgic purposes. Please go to the page hosted on the www.physics.unh.edu server for the most up to date information on the observatory. The observatory's current manager is Sean Every, and prior to myself the manager was Martina Arndt who wrote the monthly press release upon which portions of this page were based.
Observatory exterior The next open night at the observatory is to be announced. We now have Solar Power! While we will hold our gas generator in reserve for emergencies, batteries charged by solar panels now power the observatory, making it quieter, more environmentally friendly and more reliable in cold weather.

We will have at least two open nights per month once we complete our transition to new management.

*day, *month from 9:30pm to 11:30pm, the observatory will be open to the public for viewing, weather permitting. Additional dates during these months may be announced in the future. This link gives the most recent weather forecast for Durham, NH. This is the weather channel's satellite picture of the region, showing where the clouds are. We can't see through clouds, so hope for clear skies.

These observing sessions are free and open to the public, and are dependent on clear weather. A cloudy sky will cancel that night's viewing. These events are great for children, especially first graders and older.

Special arrangements can be made for groups to have private viewing sessions. During the school year (September through mid-May), Monday through Thursday nights are unavailable as the observatory will be in use by our undergraduate astronomy class.

Sean Every, a physics student at UNH, or John Gianforte, an experienced amatuer astronomer, will use the 14 inch (355 mm) Schmidt-Cassegrain reflecting telescope to show you objects such as stars, globular clusters (M3 - February through September; M13 - April through October), open clusters (Pleiades - November through April; Praesepe January through June) emission nebulae (Lagoon - July through September; Orion - December through April), planetary nebulae (such as the Ring Nebula - May through November; the Dumbell Nebula - June through November), supernova remnants (Crab Nebula November through April) and even other galaxies (Andromeda - August through February; Whirlpool - February through September; M65 & M66 - February through July; M81 - all year; M82 - all year). We should also be able to see the planets Uranus (from August through October), Saturn (from late October 2000 to early April 2001) and Jupiter (from November 2000 to April 2001). We might be able to see Mercury in late May 2001 and Mars will be visible from July 2001 to August 2001.

Chris Siren retired from the position of observatory manager at the end of August to teach high school physics in Lynnfield, MA.

The observatory (a silo shaped building) is located at UNH in Durham, in the field adjacent to the field house and tennis courts on Main Street (Old Route 4) (See this map). Parking is available at Moiles, Putnam, and at the Field House West Lot adjacent to the tennis courts. Please do not park along side the road or in the field. Bring binoculars if you have them, and dress appropriately, preferably in layers. During the summer months you should be prepared to meet insects as well.

Most importantly, bring your curiosity and your questions! Please e-mail Sean for more information.

Chris behind our 14 inch
Schmidt-Cassegrain

You may also be interested in the New Hampshire Astronomical Society, an amateur organization based in Manchester, the Christa McAuliffe Planetarium in Concord, or the Astronomical Society of Northern New England in and around Sanford and Kennebunkport, Maine. JPL's Calendar of Space Events and Anverseries keeps track of things like when meteor showers, conjunctions, and ocultations will occur, as well as when different launches are scheduled.

I have compiled a small number of additional links on one of my personal pages dealing with Astrophysics, Planetary Science, and Space Science.



Frequently Asked Questions:
Chris's observational astronomy experience includes running the public and private group nights at the observatory since June 1997, teaching the introductory astronomy outdoor labs at UNH from September 1995 to May 1998, and from September 1999 to the present, and completing an undergraduate optical astronomy project lab which included the photometry of the asteroid 79 Eurynome at Wallace Astrophysical Observatory in Westford, Massachusetts.
UNH Dept. of Physics