Public Telescope Viewing
Join us every Friday night (check the schedule below) for rooftop observing through our historic telescope in the dome of the John T. Tate Hall. There will be a presentation followed by outdoor observing (weather-permitting). You will have the chance to observe some of the same celestial objects that have inspired sky-gazers throughout history!
Afterwards, if weather allows, attendees have the opportunity to view the sky through multiple 8-inch reflecting telescopes, operated by the staff and provided by the Minnesota Institute for Astrophysics. Additionally, we provide free star maps (e.g. www.skymaps.com) and are happy to show visitors how to use them. Throughout the evening, we encourage questions from the audience and enjoy discussing topics ranging from backyard astronomy to the latest scientific discoveries.
The presentation begins at 8:00pm in the Tate Laboratory of Physics, room 101. Telescope observing usually begins around 8:25-8:30pm upstairs in Tate 510.
The presentation and outdoor observing are free for all to attend!Sign up for the MIfA outreach email
The presentation portion of each event will be held in John T. Tate Hall, 101.
Often, girl scout troops and various other groups enjoy attending our public viewing nights. If you would like to bring a large group (more than 15) to public viewing or if you wish to request a separate presentation for your group, contact our Public Outreach Coordinator at least three weeks prior to the desired observing session.
Frequently Asked Questions
The public viewing is scheduled every Friday during the University's Fall and Spring semesters. A presentation will be given
at each event regardless of the weather, so we will always have something for you.
Observing will follow the presentation if the weather is acceptable (clear with wind chill above -15° F, see the
FAQs above for additional details). For more questions please email the outreach coordinator at
The presentation begins at 8:00pm in the Tate Laboratory of Physics, room 101. After the presentation, we move up to Tate 510 where we can access the telescopes on the roof deck and the historic 10.5" refractor in the dome. Telescope observing usually begins around 8:30pm.
|Date||MIfA Staff||On-site Contact||Topic|
|2/01/2019||Jamie Cheshire, Nathan Eggen
||The First Three Minutes|
|2/08/2019||Nathan Eggen, Jin-Ah Kim
||The Future of the Universe|
|2/15/2019||Jin-Ah Kim, Nico Adams
|2/22/2019||Darcy Ballantyne, Grant Hall
||Saturn and its Rings|
|3/01/2019||Jamie Cheshire, Mike Makmur||Pulsar Timing Arrays|
|3/08/2019||Nico Adams, Grant Hall
|3/15/2019||Jamie Cheshire, Sarah O'Brien
||The Cosmic Distance Ladder and the Hubble Constant|
|3/22/2019||No Public Observations - Spring Break|
|3/29/2019||Grant Hall, Jenna Burgett
|4/05/2019||Darcy Ballentyne, Jordan Bartlett
|4/12/2019||CANCELED due to the weather
|4/19/2019||Jordan Bartlett, Gwen Elledge
|4/26/2019||Kaitlin Ehret, Jordan Bartlett||The Coolest, Hottest Probe to Touch the Sun: Parker Solar Probe|
|5/03/2019||Kaitlin Ehret, Nico Adams||Black Holes|
MN Institute for Astrophysics
University of Minnesota
John T. Tate Hall, 116 Church St. SE, Minneapolis, MN, 55455