Learn about astronomy for free at this little-known observatory located on BU’s campus.
If you’ve ever wanted to take a closer look at the night sky above us, look no further than Public Open Night at Boston University’s Coit Observatory, located on top of the Physics Research Building. The dome-shaped addition on top might appear unassuming from the outside, but it is in fact home to top-notch telescopes that will let you stargaze like you never have before.
Every Wednesday, as long as the weather is clear, BU’s astronomy department hosts the observation nights at 7:30pm during the fall and winter months, and 8:30pm during the spring and summer months. You’ll be able to see the night sky and learn about astronomy along the way!
This event is totally free, but you will need to book your seat in advance, as only a set number of people can be allowed to attend. Tickets go live on the Observatory’s website every Thursdays at 11am for the following Wednesday. You can show up without tickets, but you won’t be guaranteed a spot.
Boston’s weather in fall and winter can be rather unpredictable, so the Observatory announces on the day of whether or not the viewing conditions will be good. Make sure to check their Twitter, @buobservatory, a couple hours before the event on Wednesday to check if it’s happening on that night. And make sure to wear warm clothes, as you will be using outdoor telescopes to see the skies!
Public Open Nights at the Observatory have been running ever since 1967. The dome-shaped structure was originally built to house a telescope that was used at the South Pole for carbon observations. While the project in Antarctica proved to be unsuccessful, the observatory is still functioning today.
Find the Coit Observatory at 725 Commonwealth Avenue in Boston, MA, above the Astronomy Department.
[featured image: bu.edu]