SBO Open House with crowd on observing deckThere's always something amazing to see in the sky!

Check back for future special astronomical upcoming events, including eclipses, planets at opposition, conjunctions, and new comets.

Schedule a field trip, tour, or special event at SBO. 



Transit of Mercury photo from NASA JPLWe observed the Transit of Mercury on November 11, 2019 from 8-11am. 

Despite the clouds and periodic snow, we watched Mercury cross (transit) in front of the Sun. Sommers-Bausch Observatory and Fiske Planetarium hosted live events. 

Mercury appeared as a tiny dot moving across the brilliant Sun. Why was this a big deal? This astronomical rarity will only occur 14 times this century. The next transit observable in North America won’t happen until 2049. The only other planet we can see cross in front of the Sun is Venus. The last transit of Venus occurred in 2012 and the next one won’t happen until 2117.

The only safe way to view this astronomical event is through a special solar telescope or projected via a Heliostat or Sunspotter. REMEMBER! Looking at the Sun directly or through a telescope without proper protection can lead to serious and permanent vision damage.

The event was FREE! The NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory hosted a livestream from space and the National Solar Observatory hosted a livestream from CTIO in Chile too.