Every year, 100s of community members visit campus to explore the night sky using the largest public telescope in Minnesota, the Andreas Observatory. At Astronomy Open House, visitors have a chance to view a variety of objects --- planets, stars, and galaxies --- and hear from astronomy faculty about the latest discoveries and insights astronomers and astrophysicists have learned about the universe in which we all live. The department's very knowledgeable students in the astronomy minor will join the discussion, and are always happy to field any questions about what's up in the sky that night.
Typically, one public night is held each semester: one at the star tof the Fall semester and one in the Spring, when the snow has melted and it's warm enough to enjoy standing in the observatory dome while you view the night sky above you. Faculty are happy to host community organizations at the observatory for private events; in the past, e.g., we have hosted Boy and Girl Scout clubs and other such organizations. If you're interested in organizing an event for your club or organization, please contact the director of the Minnesota State Mankato's Observatories: Dr. Paul Eskridge.
The Spring 2020 Open House was canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but check the News and Events Page in the future for information on the next public night!
To attend an event, note that parking is not available at the Andreas Observatory itself. Visitors should park at Lot #1 just south of University Ave. and walk along the (faintly illuminated) paved path into the observatory area on MSU campus. More information about visiting the observatories can be found on the Campus Observatories page