UNM Campus Observatory

UNM Dept. of Physics & Astronomy
1919 Lomas Blvd. NE, UNM North Campus
505-277-2616 (8AM-5PM)
Campus Observatory
The Observatory is a public service of the department.




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


Give to the Department of Physics of Astronomy, to support the Observatory and other vital educational, outreach and research efforts




COVID PROTOCOL

The Campus Observatory adheres to the rules of the University of New Mexico. At this time all visitors must wear a mask inside the building. We also limit the number of visitors at a given time up on the platform to 4 (four) people. Please follow guidance from our volunteers at the entrance of the building. Spare masks will be available if you forgot yours.


About the 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 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 semesters, we are open for public viewing sessions. The open nights are held 8-10 pm during daylight savings time (8/27-11/5 2021), and during standard time we will be open 7-9pm (11/12-12/10 2021).

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
Facilities Celestron 14” EdgeHD acquired in 2018
Parking As of Fall 2021, there is 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 Fall and Spring Semesters (except Thanksgiving, and Fall and Spring Break) when the weather is clear. We are closed during the summer.
Hours 8-10 p.m. MDT (August 27 - November 5, 2021), and 7-9 p.m. MST (November 12 - December 10, 2021)
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.
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 Director Prof. Ylva Pihlström via Campus Observatory. We will answer as fast as we can.
Meade 14" LX200GPS Telescope:
Meade 14 inch LX200GPS acquired in 2004 Meade 14 inch LX200GPS acquired in 2004
A mosaic image of the Moon made with our new CCD camera on the 14" Meade.
Image by Daniel Zirzow and Mark Gorski
The Orion Nebula (M42) photographed through the 14" Meade
by Daniel Zirzow and Dave Martin: