UNM Campus Observatory

Are We Open Tonight?

At 3 pm on Fridays this page will show whether the observatory will be open that evening for our regular Friday night public viewing.

About the Observatory

UNM Campus Observatory

The UNM Campus Observatory provides an opportunity for UNM students, school groups, and the interested public to view the night skies in a convenient setting within Albuquerque. It is used for education during the week, but every Friday night during the UNM fall and spring semesters we have open for public viewing sessions, weather permitting.

Public Viewing Sessions

When the sky is clear on a Friday evening during the UNM fall and spring semesters, we are open for public viewing sessions. The open nights are held 7-9 pm during standard time (1/19-3/8 2024), and during daylight savings time we will be open 8-10pm (3/15-5/10 2023). We are closed 3/15 due to UNM Spring Break.

At this time we have no special program or talks, it is simply a viewing session. Our telescope operators will tell you about the objects you view though, explain what they are, and answer questions. You may come and go as you please, there is no need to arrive right at the beginning or stay until the very end. There is no cost associated with the viewing sessions, it is free for all interested viewers of the universe.

The open nights are subject to weather conditions, and can be cancelled at the very last minute or closed in the middle of a session if clouds are moving in blocking the views.

Facility

Our facility is an observatory, where we view celestial objects in the night sky. We have a 14" Celestron Edge HD telescope on a platform accessible via a staircase. No lift is available.

Note that we do not have a planetarium, which is a facility projecting images of the sky onto a ceiling. Local planetariums can be found at the Museum of Natural History.

Location

On Yale Blvd. NE, 2 blocks north of Lomas
Stucco building with white dome
See map

Telescope

Mercury Transit Viewing on Monday, Nov. 11, 2019

Celestron 14” EdgeHD acquired in 2018

Parking

Until Summer 2024, there will be a lot of construction going on around the observatory.

The easiest way to get to the observatory is from University Blvd to turn East on Tucker Ave, and park at the parking lot at the SE corner of Yale and Tucker. Parking is free during Observatory hours.

Viewing Dates

Every Friday during the UNM Fall and Spring Semesters (except Thanksgiving, Fall and Spring Break) when the weather is clear. We are closed during the summer, and over UNM winter break.

Hours

When the skies are clear: 7-9 p.m. MDT (January 19 - March 8, 2024), and 8-10 p.m. MST (March 22 - May 3, 2024).

Admission

Open to the public as well as UNM students. Free of charge.

Group Arrangements

For groups of 15 or more, email at least 2 weeks in advance to make reservations: Campus Observatory. This helps us to avoid overcrowding a given night, causing long waiting times for our visitors. Otherwise, you do not need to notify us of any bookings - just check our webpage by 3 pm the day you are planning to visit us to confirm we will be open.

Safety Information

If we are open, the doors to the courtyard and the dome will be open, and red lights will be on inside. If the door to the courtyard is closed we are not open. It is possible for the weather to turn bad during a public evening, in which case we may close early.

If you experience an emergency, call 911. Otherwise, the number for the campus police is 277-2241.

What’s in the sky right now?

Sky and Telescope’s skychart is adaptable for any location and any time.

Contact Us

If you have questions feel free to contact the Observatory via Campus Observatory