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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.

Public talks are recorded and made available on the department's Youtube channel.

Spring 2024 Events

Saturday, January 13 - Ben Mayfield (UNF), "Astrobiology and Volcanic Glass"

Friday, February 23 - Dr. Alex Blanchard (NASA Huntsville), "3D Printing in Space and on the Moon"

Friday, March 8 - Dr. Pearl Sandick (Utah), "Dark Matter"
Note that interested high school students can also register for the Dark Matter Masterclass which will be held at UNF. on the following day, Saturday, March 9.

Friday, April 5 - Al Bott (NEFAS), "Astronomy on a Budget"

*Special Event* Monday, April 8 - UNF Solar Eclipse Watch Party at Coxwell Amphitheater from 2-4 PM. Free eclipse glasses from Action New Jax, solar telescopes, and other activities for all ages.

Thursday, April 18 - Ashley Meglino, Eli Morter, et al. (UNF), "Student Astronomy Research Showcase"


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


Past Astronomy Nights

2023 December 8 - Morgan Hardman (Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine) "Aerospace Medicine

2023 November 17 - Dr. Nirmal Patel (UNF Physics), "Results from NASA's Eclipse Ballooning Project"

2023 October 20 - Dr. Marina Kounkel (UNF Physics), "GAIA space observatory"

2023 September 22 - Speaker: David Bosnic, "This Year's Two Great American Eclipses"

2023 August 25 - Speaker: Dr. Victoria Martin, "The Secrets of Black Holes"

2023 October 14 - UNF (Partial) Solar Eclipse Party from 11 AM to 3 PM on the Green 

2023 May 5 - Astronomy Night, Speaker: Dr. Jane MacGibbon, "The Latest Discoveries about Mars, Venus, and the Moon"

2023 April 22 - Astronomy Night, Speaker: UNF Undergraduates present their Astronomy-related research

2023 April 14 - Astronomy Night, Speaker: Dr. Bharat Ratra, "The Accelerating Expanding Universe: Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and Einstein's Cosmological Constant"

2023 April 7 - Astronomy Night, Speaker: Dr. Sushil Shreekumar, "Neutron Stars: Life After the Death of a Star"

2023 March 3 - Astronomy Night, Speaker: Ben Mayfield (UNF Physics), "The Dark Sector: What are Dark Energy and Dark Matter?"

2023 February 24 - Astronomy Night, Speaker: Dr. Tian Feng (USF), "Phosphorus, Meteors and the Origins of Life"

2023 February 3 - Astronomy Night, Speaker: Dr. Jack Hewitt, Topic "A year of JWST images"

2022 December 2 - Astronomy Night  (Speaker: Prof. Candice Tahimic, Topic: Biology and Spaceflight)

2022 November 4 - Astronomy Night  (Speaker: James Katz, Topic: GAIA's 3-D Map of the Galaxy)

2022 October 7 - Astronomy Night (Speaker:  Ben Mayfield, Topic: Primordial Black Holes)

2022 September 2 - Astronomy Night (Speaker:  David Bosnic, Topic: NASA's Artemis Program)

2022 April 22 - Astronomy Night  (Speaker: Dr. Graham Lau, “Mars Exploration and Astrobiology”)

2022 March 25 - Astronomy Night (Speaker: Prof. Art Omran, "Biosignatures in Planetary Atmospheric Chemistry")

2022 March 11 - Astronomy Night (Speaker: Prof. Jack Hewitt, "NASA's Just Wonderful Space Telescope (JWST)"

2022 March 6 - Astronomy Night (Speaker: NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador Sam Turley, "Preparing for Mars")

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2019 November 30 - Cosmonaut Training, a First Person Account (Speaker: Lee Giat)

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

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

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

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

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