The Astronomy Group within the Department of Physics and Astronomy holds monthly Public Nights. The schedule is posted below and on the events calendar. All are welcome to come view the sky through our facilities, on campus and off. Admission to Public Nights is free.
Schedule for Spring 2018
|Date||Host/Speaker||Talk/Night Sky Objects||Location/Time|
|Wed Jan 31||Prof. Jeremy Bailin||“Supermoon”; Castor; Ceres; Orion Nebula||Gallalee Hall Roof, 7:00-9:00pm|
|Thu Feb 15||Prof. Jimmy Irwin||High School Physics Contest Open House (New Moon)
|Gallalee Hall Roof, 7:00-9:00pm|
|Fri Mar 9||Prof. Buta and others||3rd quarter moon; Orion Nebula; star clusters, galaxies||Moundville, 7:00-10:00 pm|
|Wed Mar 21||Dr. Amy Jones
Prof. Jimmy Irwin
|Public Talk: “It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Oumuamua! ”
Discovery of the first interstellar asteroid.
waxing crescent moon; Mizar and Alcor
|Gallalee Hall Roof, 8:00-9:30pm|
|Fri. Apr 13||Profs. Buta and Irwin||New Moon, nebulae, galaxies, and star clusters||Moundville, 8:00-10:00 pm|
|Fri Apr 27||Prof. Townsley||Full Moon, Jupiter||Gallalee Hall Roof, 8:00-10:00 pm|
|Sat Jul 28||Profs Keel, Buta, others||Full moon; Mars — at best opposition since 2003||Gallalee Hall Roof, 8:30-10:30 pm|
Locations and Equipment
Most on-campus sessions use the 16-inch research-grade reflector (installed in January 2005) in the dome on top of Gallalee Hall, located at the northeast corner of University Blvd. and Hackberry Drive.
Our deep-sky observing sessions use the 16″ and (recently donated) 17″ telescopes located in Moundville Archaeological Park, or the 20-inch “Big Little Telescope” recently donated to the department. The telescope is set up on a pad in the field across the road from the museum (see locator map). The park does not charge for after-hours admission for these programs.
Our calendar shows the dates for the currently scheduled Public Nights, the starting times for the programs, and the speakers. Please pay attention to the dates; sometimes these events are held on nights other than Friday, to accommodate special events. (And occasionally, these events are held during the day.) Please also check weather forecasts before planning your trip. Weather information specifically tailored to astronomical observing is available in the clear sky clock for Tuscaloosa generated using forecasts from the Canadian Meteorology Centre.
Please call the department office at (205) 348-5050 to give us advance warning if you are bringing a large group, so we may plan accordingly.
During the fall football season, parking restrictions on campus go into effect on the evenings before home football games, including the Gallalee Hall parking lot. All vehicles must be out of that parking lot by 6 a.m. Saturday or they will be towed at their owners’ expense.
Parking is particularly tight on homecoming weekend. Be prepared to park at a lot that is several blocks or more from Gallalee Hall. The UA CrimsonRide transit system operates late into the night.
At Moundville Archaeological Park, parking is available at the museum and near the conference center overlooking the Black Warrior River. The locator map on this website shows both buildings and the spot where we set up our telescope.
For More Information
For more information, call the department office at (205) 348-5050 and ask for the faculty member in charge of the date in question. To receive advance notice of events as they are scheduled, email Karen Lynn (email@example.com) and ask to be added to our email list.
For additional skygazing opportunities in the Birmingham area, please see the Birmingham Astronomical Society schedule. Weather information specifically tailored to astronomical observing is available in the clear sky clock for Tuscaloosa generated using forecasts from the Canadian Meteorology Centre.