Stargazing at the Smithsonian Public Observatory

The National Air and Space Museum’s Public Observatory will be open for special nighttime stargazing. Do not miss this chance to see an array of celestial objects through a powerful professional telescope as well as additional portable telescopes. This special viewing will take place weather permitting, and tickets are not required.

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  • Merideth

    I had a great time - thank you for organizing! Looking forward to the next one.

    December 3, 2012

  • Adam

    I loved watching jupiter and uranus. Thank you

    December 2, 2012


    Very enjoyable, extremely informative. Folks manning the two telescopes were veritable astronomy experts plus we had the added bonus of a TV/slide presentation on our sun. Viewed Uranus and Jupiter! Can't wait till the next outting! Thanks astro folks for making it a great night!

    December 2, 2012

  • Kevin G.

    anyone know where parking is?

    December 1, 2012

    • Ramón

      Last time there was plenty of on street parking on Independence.

      December 1, 2012

  • Diane M.

    Is stargazing at the observatory wheel-chair accessible?

    November 28, 2012

    • A former member
      A former member

      Diane--This is not an "official" response (since I'm not an "official" person), but there is a 1:12 ramp to the main level, and a secondary ramp from that level up to the observatory floor. The eyepiece for the main telescope is on a wonderful closed-tube-and-diagonal­-mirror contraption that will allow you to access the main scope.

      This is assuming you're coming in at the South-East corner of the museum, right where the observatory is. Corner of 4th St. SW and Independence Ave SW.­

      When I was there, there were also some "personal" scopes available on that main level (not in the dome). The type of scope, and the angle of the scope (depending on what is being observed) will determine if the eyepiece is going to be accessible from a wheelchair.

      2 · November 28, 2012

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