Join Us to Learn About the Universe

We feature talks on current astronomical topics and observing through our rooftop telescope


Generally, one Friday a month during the semesters. Check the schedule below. The lecture begins at 7:30pm. Weather-permitting, observing follows using our rooftop telescope.


Lectures take place in the Earth & Space Sciences Building (ESS) in lecture hall 001. A campus map is available here.


The observatory on the roof of the ESS building houses a 14" Meade telescope. Depending on the sky conditions and season, we will view planets, the moon, nearby nebula, globular clusters, or galaxies. After Zoom sessions, The Astronomy club will live-stream astronomical views from the 14" telescope.

Current Schedule

Academic Year 2021-22

Astronomy Open Nights are Virtual

Due to COVID-19, the Open Nights will again be virtual this semester. Please register using this registration link.

After completing the registration form you will receive an email with a link to the Open Night meeting and instructions on how to connect to the meeting online. Note that our response system is not automatic and it may take up to a few days for the email to arrive in your inbox. Your information provided in the registration form will not be shared outside of the administrators of the Astronomy Open Night.

Spring 2022

Feb 4, 2022 Prof. Jim Lattimer The Latest Discoveries About Neutron Stars
Mar 4, 2022 Dr. Sayan Mandal Probing the Early Universe through Magnetic Fields
Apr 1, 2022 Prof. Ken Lanzetta Update on the Condor Telescope Array
May 6, 2022 Prof. Michael Zingale Making the Elements

About Astronomy Open Night

Open Nights at Stony Brook began with the arrival of Comet Kohoutek. Tobias Owen, Deane Peterson, and Mike Simon put together a series of lectures for the public on the comet shortly before it reached perihelion on December 28, 1973. Comet Kohoutek was a new comet, and astronomers expected it to be quite bright when it passed by the Sun on perhaps its first visit to the inner solar system. Unfortunately, the bright display never materialized. But the talks were such a hit that a series was formed.

The series has continued ever since, and we typically have 4 each semester. For further information or to have your name added to the mailing list (postal or e-mail) contact the Department of Physics and Astronomy at (631) 632-8100, or send e-mail to Nathan Leoce-Schappin.

Do try to be a little early if you can. The increasing popularity of this series has seen the lecture hall full on occasion. (And when there's a comet, you can't buy a seat). Some disability-related accommodations are available. Call the Department at the number above before 4 pm to warn us of your requirements.

In-service Credit for Teachers

Astronomy Open Night provides attendance certification for New York State teachers wishing to apply for in-service credit. Among these programs you can accumulate hours of lecture credit each year to apply toward your school district's program. Policies on in-service credit are set by school boards and you should check with your administration concerning the details of the local program.

See here for current procedures for claiming in-service credit.

Other Series