Join us on the Skydeck at the UWM Physics building for this free program! Stargazing provides an opportunity for you to gaze through telescopes at the night sky. We will view the Moon, planets, star clusters, and other available astronomical objects throughout the year. Donations are always appreciated!
Fall 2018 (9:30-10:30PM)
Stargazing may also occur, weather permitting, after Friday Night Shows during Fall 2018.
Note: This summer we received a significant amount of money allowing us to equip our 14-inch Celestron telescope with a computerized mount permanently mounted on the Skydeck. The Paramount MX+ mount allows us to find and go to objects near and far with a push of a button. Once there, it will track the object as it moves across the sky throughout the night. Previous stargazers will recall the need to move the telescope manually every minute to keep the target in view; now, with this mount we can stay locked in without human intervention, infinitely improving the experience.
Hot Chocolate is sold for $1.
Where: UWM Physics Building Skydeck*. Take the elevator at the east end of the Physics building to the 4th floor and continue left to the staircase that leads to the roof. Please follow the yellow signs posted on the walls up to the observatory.
*Note: The Skydeck is not wheelchair accessible.
Example Yellow Sign:
If it is not possible to observe outside because of the weather, we will offer a 25-30 minute program in the Planetarium (on the first floor of the Physics building across from Lecture Hall 137).This program will allow you to see our newest software program Uniview, which allows us to fly through space (at warp speed!) and see a high quality representation of our cosmos.
Note: The extra credit opportunity for astronomy students is still available regardless of the weather.
If the temperature with wind chill is 0° F or below, observing will automatically be moved into the Planetarium for the 25-30 minute program.
We can’t wait to see you all at stargazing, but please do not arrive 30 minutes early for stargazing (you’re encouraged to come 30 minutes early for Planetarium Friday night shows). Our staff is working to set up the area before the scheduled times and as it is dark out when we are able to observe, we cannot safely allow people onto the Observing deck until everything is set up. If you do find yourself here early, please enjoy our posters of the different astronomical objects found in space on the 4th floor stairwell landing until the starting time. We thank you in advanced for your understanding and cooperation as your safety and enjoyment are our top concerns.
Websites for Astronomy Reference and Helpful Information
Peter Chow’s Personal Website – Telescope Maintenance, Radio Projects, etc.
Dr. Dennis Roscoe’s Personal Website – Astrophotography, Instructor UW-Waukesha
Weather Underground – General Weather Service that forecasts cloud cover
Stellarium – Program that simulates the real night sky on your computer
Orbiter – Free Space Flight Simulator
Some Pictures of New Setup and Planets (more to come):
Top: Celestron C14 Telescope on Paramount MX+ Mount (initial setup)
Middle: Saturn taken with using iPhone camera. No post-processing.
Bottom: Jupiter and Galilean moons – redness due to red lights on Skydeck.
Interested in some great Stargazing Apps?
Star Walk 2 (iOS)
Star Walk 2 is a great premium stargazing app. It costs $2.99 on the App Store but it comes with a variety of great features and is possibly the best looking stargazing app you can get. Just point your phone to the sky to locate or identify stars, constellations and planets. You can even scroll through time to see how these objects move across the sky.
Star Chart is a great free alternative to Star Walk 2. It doesn’t come with quite as many features but it works just as well. It’s a great tool for any aspiring astronomers out there and we definitely recommend giving it a try, especially since it won’t cost you anything.
ISS Spotter (iOS)
This free 5-star rated app on Apple’s App Store will track the location of the International Space Station (ISS). You are able to set an alarm that will notify you shortly before the station will pass overhead so you won’t have to worry about missing it.
ISS Detector Satellite Tracker (Android)
This free app on the Google Play Store tracks the location of the International Space Station (ISS). You can set an alarm so it can notify you shortly before the ISS will pass overhead, as well as check if weather conditions are optimal for spotting the station.
SkyMap for Windows phone is a great tool for aspiring astronomers. Just point your phone to the sky to learn more about stars, constellations and planets. The app costs $1.49 but has a free trial available to try out first.