Carpe Noctem – Seize the Night

The Gunnison Valley Observatory is open to the public

The Gunnison Valley Observatory is open this Friday and Saturday nights for public night sky viewing.

Years ago, every school child knew that Pluto was the 9th planet in our Solar System.  That was until Caltech Astronomer Mike Brown helped demote it to a dwarf planet.  But this year, Dr. Brown may have found a planet with 5000 times the mass of Pluto.  Come to the Observatory Friday evening, September 2nd, and hear local amateur astronomer Michael Hoskins talk about “The 9th Planet”.

We now know there are planets orbiting distant stars outside our own Solar System.  On Saturday, September 3rd, WSCU’s physicist/astronomer Dr. Suzanne Taylor will explain how we know these “Exoplanets” exist and the research being conducted on Exoplanets right here in the Gunnison Valley.

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