Answer it at the Rothney Astrophysical Observatory
Drop in hours are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday noon to 4pm
Light Pollution Photography Contest Click Here to learn more
Milky Way Nights
July 24, 25, 26
August 28, 29, 30
10pm to 2am each night
Entrance fee: donation to the Rothney Astrophysical Observatory
SKY CONDITIONS Friday July 25, variably cloudy
Please watch this website for updates. We will not open to the public in the case of inclement weather. We cannot use the telescopes if sky is overcast.
For three moonless nights in July and in August the Rothney Astrophysical Observatory is open to the public for late night observing. Drop in for a chance to observe along side our research scientists. If conditions are clear then we will view distant planetary nebula, globular clusters and galaxies. We will have several telescopes operating and many opportunities to view the night sky as well as several astronomers on hand to answer your questions. Milky Way Nights are a special event that focuses on the public coming to the observatory to look through a telescope and learn more about the night sky. There is no formal lecture, however we will do our best to point out the highlights of the summer sky.
No need to pre-register
The event is out of doors, so please dress for the weather.
You can bring a flashlight and do not forget bug spray.
If the sky is cloudy then we will not be able to operate the telescopes. If very poor weather conditions persist then the observing event is cancelled. Watch this website for sky conditions and updates.
The Rothney Observatory was featured on Telus TV click here for link
Donations to the Rothney Astrophysical Observatory are hugely appreciated. We endeavour to make astronomy accessible to the public, and inspire scientific thinking and literacy. If you would like support us in this endeavour, you can help by making a donation. Click on this link, and choose "Friends of the RAO" from the Designation drop-down box.
The University of Calgary issues tax receipts for donations of any amount. Thank YOU!
Read more about this cool image, and see the latest data from our new Sky Quality Meter, by visiting the Skywatch page.
The University of Calgary Swarm mission, which consists of a constellation of three satellites orbiting in two different near-polar orbits at 450 and 530 km altitude, is intent on providing the best-ever survey of the Earth's geomagnetic and its temporal evolution. Data gathered will allow for new insights into the Earth and its surroundings by improving understanding of our planet's interior, near-Earth space environment and the sun’s influence on the planet. Swarm will be the first mission to make global, multi-point measurements of magnetic and electric fields simultaneously.
RAO is Operations Headquarters for amazing Canadian satellite research mission:
On September 29th, 2013 the Canadian Space Agency launched the CAScade, Smallsat and IOnospheric Polar Explorer also known as CASSIOPE. You may have noticed a new cube-shaped structure and dome to the south of the big ARCT dome. This is a high-tech satellite tracking installation. The data that the satellite collects while soaring over and inside the Earth's aurora and space weather is beamed down to the RAO for study by U of C scientists. An animation of the satellite orbiting the Earth is here. Stay tuned for an announcement about the official launching celebration of the RAO's e-Pop ground station.
RAO Sky Scanner Extrordinare, Rob Cardinal, discovers comets in 2008 and 2010:
To see Rob's actual discovery images click here. The stars, being in the distant background, are stationary while the comet dashes across the field of view. Congratuations Rob Cardinal!
In Oct. of 2008 and Jan. 2010, using the specialized Baker-Nunn Telescope and its very sensitive CCD camera detector, astronomer Rob Cardinal discovered never before seen comets, now named "C/2008 T2 Cardinal" and "C/2010 B1 Cardinal". read more >>
In 2008 the Rothney Astrophysical Observatory won prestigeous ASTech Award for Excellence in Science and Technology Public Awarenes: read more >>