Public Viewing


The Cline Observatory is open to the public for viewing every clear Friday night throughout the year.

The viewings begin ½ hour after sunset during March-October, and at 7:00 during November-February. (Determine sunset time for a particular date.) Sessions usually last about two hours, but may run longer or shorter depending on interest and sky conditions.  Our sessions are unstructured – there’s no program – just telescopic viewing.

Note that the observatory is open to the night air, and so will be cold in the winter and warm in the summer. Be sure to dress for the conditions.

For updates regarding how weather or other issues will affect this week’s session, check our Twitter Updates Page @gtccastro.

For other questions about the observatory and its programs, contact Tom English at or 336.334.4822 ext. 50023.

There is no charge for public night viewing and the observatory is open to anyone wishing to attend. No reservations are necessary, and there are no limits on the number of attendees. (We do ask that you let us know well ahead of time if you plan to bring a large group.)

Public Viewing Schedule

Click on the links below to read viewing schedule.

October Sessions (Sessions Start as Darkness Falls)


Featured Object


5 Oct

M31 – the Andromeda Galaxy

Alec LaGrega

12 Oct

Spiral Galaxy NGC 7331

Joseph Holmes

19 Oct

Albireo - Double Star in Cygnus;

Errika Wyatt

26 Oct

The Perseus Double Cluster

David Connor

Sessions Continue in November

November Sessions (Sessions Start at 7:00 p.m.)
Date Featured Object Host
2 Nov Saturn Tim Martin
9 Nov The Blue Flash & the Blue Snowball Brian Morris
16 Nov M57 – the Ring Nebula Aaron Martin
23 Nov The Moon Dennis Hands
30 Nov M31 – the Andromeda Galaxy Kevin Erdy
Sessions Continue in December

December Sessions (Sessions Start at 7:00 p.m.)
Date Featured Object Host
7 Dec Neptune-Mars Close Encounter Beth Desch
14 Dec Seeing Red: Mars & R Leporis Robert Royals
21 Dec Astronomical Firsts Jeff Regester
28 Dec Open Clusters in Auriga Christina Guzik
Sessions Continue in January

January Sessions (Sessions Start at 7:00 p.m.)
Date Featured Object Host
4 Jan Life of a Star Joseph Holmes
11 Jan M42 – the Great Orion Nebula Alec LaGrega
18 Jan Almach - Double Star in Andromeda Jeff Swanson
25 Jan Eskimo Nebula Host TBA
Sessions Continue in February


Occasionally, Cline Observatory holds viewing sessions for special events such as eclipses, transits, or other remarkable astronomical phenomena. These sessions are presented in the same manner as our Friday public viewings, though if the situation requires, we may shift our portable telescopes to other locations on campus.

As with our Friday public viewings, all Cline Observatory special viewing sessions are free and open to anyone with an interest in astronomy.

Recent special sessions we have scheduled include:

  • Expedition to Newberry, SC for Total Solar Eclipse of 2017 August 21
  • Partial Solar Eclipse 2014 October 23
  • Venus Transit 2012 June 05
  • Lunar Eclipse 2010 December 10 (cloudy)
  • Total Lunar Eclipse 2008 February 21
  • Total Lunar Eclipse  2007 March 03
  • Mercury Transit  2006 November 08 (cloudy)
  • Total Lunar Eclipse  2004 October 27
  • Venus Transit  2004 June 06 (cloudy)
Transits of Venus & Mercury

Three hundred visitors came to GTCC to observe the 2012 Venus Transit – a phenomenon that will not be seen on Earth again until 2117. For more information about this event and other transits, see our Transits page.

Lunar and Solar Eclipses

Cline Observatory is open for viewing lunar and solar eclipses visible in our area. Details about upcoming eclipses will be posted on our Eclipses page.

Meteor Showers

Cline Observatory DOES NOT hold special sessions for meteor showers because they are best observed without telescopes, and are usually best seen from dark locations between midnight and dawn.

The American Meteor Society provides an annual meteor shower calendar,  guides to visual observation of meteors, and weekly updates on meteor activity.  The International Meteor Organization provides annual shower calendars, visual meteor observing resources, and regular outlooks on meteor activity.