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UNF Astronomy Nights

The Physics Department and Astronomy Club hosts public observing nights with our telescopes.

The public is invited to the Physics department to learn about the wonders of the night sky and view them through our telescopes. Events start in the Building 50 lobby. A guest speaker gives a short public talk starting at 8 PM. Following the talk there is public observing on the roof accessible via the elevator. Observation takes place on the roof, so dress comfortably and for the outdoors. You are encouraged to ask questions of professors and students throughout the night.

Telescope viewings can only take place if cloud cover permits, but the public talk will be held regardless of weather. If you arrive after 8:30pm please take the elevator to the 4th floor. No reservations are needed for this event.

Fall 2023 Events

Friday, August 25 - Speaker: Dr. Victoria Martin, "The Secrets of Black Holes"

Friday, September 22 - Speaker: David Bosnic, "This Year's Two Great American Eclipses"

Friday, October 20 - Dr. Marina Kounkel (UNF Physics), "GAIA space observatory"

Friday, November 17 - Dr. Nirmal Patel (UNF Physics), "Results from NASA's Eclipse Ballooning Project"

Friday, December 8 - Morgan Hardman (Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine) "Aerospace Medicine"

Past Astronomy Nights

Spring 2023 Events

Friday, February 3 - Astronomy Night, Speaker: Dr. Jack Hewitt, Topic "A year of JWST images"

Friday, February 24 - Astronomy Night, Speaker: Dr. Tian Feng (USF), "Phosphorus, Meteors and the Origins of Life"

Friday, March 3 - Astronomy Night, Speaker: Ben Mayfield (UNF Physics), "The Dark Sector: What are Dark Energy and Dark Matter?"

Friday, April 7 - Astronomy Night, Speaker: Dr. Sushil Shreekumar, "Neutron Stars: Life After the Death of a Star"

Friday, April 14 - Astronomy Night, Speaker: Dr. Bharat Ratra, "The Accelerating Expanding Universe: Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and Einstein's Cosmological Constant"

Saturday, April 22 - Astronomy Night, Speaker: UNF Undergraduates present their Astronomy-related research

Friday, May 5 - Astronomy Night, Speaker: Dr. Jane MacGibbon, "The Latest Discoveries about Mars, Venus, and the Moon"

Fall 2022 Events

Friday, October 7 - Astronomy Night (Speaker:  Ben Mayfield, Topic: Primordial Black Holes)

Friday, November 4 - Astronomy Night  (Speaker: James Katz, Topic: GAIA's 3-D Map of the Galaxy)

Friday, December 2 - Astronomy Night  (Speaker: Prof. Candice Tahimic, Topic: Biology and Spaceflight)

Spring 2022 Events

Friday, March 11 - Astronomy Night (Speaker: Prof. Jack Hewitt, "NASA's Just Wonderful Space Telescope (JWST)")

Friday, March 25 - Astronomy Night (Speaker: Prof. Art Omran, "Biosignatures in Planetary Atmospheric Chemistry")

Friday, April 22 - Astronomy Night  (Speaker: Dr. Graham Lau, “Mars Exploration and Astrobiology”)

Other Events

Friday, March 6, 2020 - Astronomy Night (Speaker: NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador Sam Turley, "Preparing for Mars")

Friday, February 7, 2020 - Astronomy Night (Speaker: Prof. Jack Hewitt, "Betelgeuse, Betelgeuse, Betelgeuse!")

Friday, December 6, 2019 - Astronomy Night (Speaker: Prof. Jane MacGibbon, "The Sky in 2020")

Friday, November 1, 2019 - Astronomy Night (Speaker: Prof. Jack Hewitt, "Transiting Planets")

Friday, October 4, 2019 - Astronomy Night (Speaker: Andre Sierra Alderete, "Escaping from a Black Hole")

Friday, September 13, 2019 - Astronomy Night (Speaker: Zach Roberts, "Uncovering Jupiter's Secrets")

Friday, April 12, 2019 - Astronomy Night (Speaker: Lee Giat)

Friday, March 1, 2019 - Astronomy Night (Speaker: Dr. Mike Reynolds, the Apollo program)

Friday, February 1, 2019 - Astronomy Night (Speaker: Kenya Gordon, "Agriculture in Space")

Friday, January 11, 2019 - Astronomy Night (Speaker: Joshua Williams, "Standard Candles")

Friday, November 30, 2018 - Cosmonaut Training, a First Person Account (Speaker: Lee Giat)

Friday, November 2, 2018 - OSIRIS-REx (Speaker: Jenn Ruliffson, NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador)

Saturday, October 20, 2018 - International Observe the Moon Night (Speaker: Sam Turley, NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador)

Friday, October 5, 2018 - Quasars and Blazars (Speaker: Amelia B.)

Friday, September 14, 2018 - The History of Astronomy, Part I. (Speaker: Amarilys S.)

Friday, August 24, 2018 - Stellar Parallax (Speaker: Rico B.D.)


Events begin in the main lobby of the Sciences & Engineering building (50). Observing takes place on the roof, which is accessible by the elevator from the main entrance. Parking is available in the Arena garage near the Science & Engineering building (or the Fine Arts garage, if there Arena garage is full; see "Parking" labels on the map at the bottom of this page). Parking permits are only required on Friday before 5 p.m. You are welcome to park in faculty and blue lot spaces after hours, unless there is a special event and parking changes are posted. Discover more details about parking on campus.

For questions about the event, please contact Prof. John Hewitt at