Public Viewing

PUBLIC VIEWING SESSIONS

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 trenglish@gtcc.edu 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.

June Sessions (Sessions Start as Darkness Falls)

Date

Featured Object

Host

1 Jun

Double Star Raslagethi

Beth Desch

8 Jun

Globular Cluster M13

Christina Guzik

15 Jun

Jupiter 

Jeff Swanson

22 Jun

Venus

Kevin Erdy

29 Jun

Saturn

Hank Corbett

Sessions Continue in July

July Sessions (Sessions Start as Darkness Falls)
Date Featured Object Host
6 Jul M57 – The Ring Nebula Errika Wyatt
13 Jul M11 – the Wild Duck Cluster Kevin Erdy
20 Jul The Moon Jeff Regester
27 Jul Mars at Opposition David Connor
Sessions Continue in August

August Sessions (Sessions start at Dark)
Date Featured Object Host
3 Aug Gas Giants: Jupiter & Saturn Aaron Martin
10 Aug M17 – the Omega Nebula Hank Corbett
17 Aug Venus Brian Morris
24 Aug The Moon Dennis Hands
31 Aug M27 – the Dumbbell Nebula Christina Guzik
Sessions Continue in September

September Sessions (Sessions Start as Darkness Falls)
Date Featured Object Host
7 Sep Blue Snowball Nebula Tim Martin
14 Sep Cat’s Eye Nebula Beth Desch
21 Sep Double Star Gamma Delphini
Viewing begins after Lecture
Jeff Swanson
28 Sep Globular Cluster M15 Errika Wyatt
Sessions Continue in October

SPECIAL VIEWING SESSIONS – ECLIPSES, TRANSITS, ETC.

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.