Carpe Noctem – Seize the Night

The Gunnison Valley Observatory is closed for the season

The Observatory may be closed for the season but there’s a lot to see in the night sky.  This Thursday and Friday, October 20th and 21st, is the peak of the annual Orionid Meteor Shower.  If you look towards the Constellation Orion – “The Hunter” - in the early morning hours before dawn, the meteors appear to radiate from Orion’s left shoulder near the bright red star “Betelgeuse”.  The meteors are the ice/dust debris left by Comet Halley on its 76 year traverse around the sun.  This annual display can yield 10 to 20 visible meteors per hour.  Dress warmly and slip outside before dawn the end of this week.  Next up – the Geminids Meteor  Shower in December.  Carpe Noctem – Seize the Night.

The Observatory is a publically-owned community facility, operated by all volunteer staff and board of directors. Gunnison Valley Observatory offers access to professional quality star gazing and knowledge of astronomy.  Our 30-inch reflector telescope maximizes our thin and unpolluted Rocky Mountain atmosphere to bring distant astronomical vistas to the eyes of residents and visitors of the Gunnison Valley.

The Observatory is located on the east or left side at 2804 County Road 38 across from Hartman Rocks Recreation Area.  The Observatory itself is tucked in behind a light darkening earthen berm and can’t be readily seen from the County Road.  There is a sign and dirt parking lot on the left at the entrance.  The facility opens at sunset, approximately 8:00 PM in June and July and 7:30 PM in August and September.  A brief educational astronomy program is followed by viewing of the amazing night sky through a variety of large and small telescopes.  Admission is by donation and reservations aren’t required.

Gunnison Valley Observatory offers many exciting ways to support its mission and goals.  You can attend the summer Friday and Saturday public program series and telescope viewings, volunteer, book a private showing or become a financial sponsor.  For more information about the observatory, please browse through the website.  Carpe Noctem – Seize the Night.

Gunnison Valley Observatory By-Laws

Follow us on Facebook for the latest information on GVO events, comets, weather, meteor showers and all things astronomical. The Gunnison Valley Observatory is most effective when community members are inquisitive and interactive. You can support the observatory through volunteerism.

Observatory Building