UA Astronomy to Host Public Star Gazing Events

  • August 25th, 2016

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The University of Alabama’s department of physics and astronomy invites members of the community to attend a series of public nights this season to look at the heavens through UA telescopes.

The events are free of charge.

The next viewing, hosted by Dr. Ron Buta, professor in UA’s physics and astronomy department, is from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Friday, Aug. 26, at the Gallalee Hall Observatory on the UA campus. Observers will be able to view both Saturn and Mars at this session.

At other viewings throughout the semester, visitors will be able to view star clusters and nebulae from both the observatory at Gallalee and UA telescopes that will be set up across the road from the Moundville Archaeological Park’s museum.

Other monthly sky viewings this season are:

7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 7: Hosted by Dr. Jeremy Bailin, assistant professor of physics and astronomy, the event will focus on the waxing crescent moon, Saturn, Albireo and the Ring Nebula.

7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday, Sept. 30: Hosted by Drs. Buta and William Keel, professors in UA’s physics and astronomy department, the event will focus on nebulae
 and star clusters, and the Andromeda Galaxy.

7 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 8: Hosted by Drs. Buta and Preethi Nair in UA’s physics and astronomy department, this event will focus on the first quarter moon as part of “International Observe the Moon Night,” an annual worldwide public even that encourages observation, appreciation and understanding of our moon and its connection to NASA planetary science and exploration. Details will be posted at

7 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday, Oct. 28: Hosted by Buta and Keel at Moundville, this session will focus on the crescent moon, nebulae,
galaxies and star clusters.

7 p.m., Monday, Nov. 14: Hosted by Dr. Dawn Williams, associate professor in UA’s physics and astronomy department, this event at Gallalee will focus on the supermoon and will include a lecture titled, “Chasing the GHOST Particle: The Ice-Cube Neutrino Observatory.” The lecture will begin at 7:15 p.m. in room 227 of Gallalee Hall, followed by the public viewing session at 8 p.m. in the observatory.

7 p.m., Friday, Dec. 2: Hosted by Dr. Murray Silverstone, associate professor of physics and astronomy at UA, this session will focus on Orion Nebula and Pleiades.

All sky viewings are contingent on the weather. Cloudy skies are not conducive to viewing. For more information about scheduled events, phone 205/348-5050 or visit

Please give advance notice if you plan to bring a large group.

Gallalee Hall is at the northeast corner of University Boulevard and Hackberry Drive, less than a block from Denny Chimes. UA’s Moundville Archaeological Park is 13 miles south of campus off Alabama 69.

The department of physics and astronomy is part of UA’s College of Arts and Sciences, the University’s largest division and the largest liberal arts college in the state. Students from the College have won numerous national awards including Rhodes and Goldwater scholarships.


Dr. Ronald Buta, 205/348-3792,


David Miller, UA media relations, 205/348-0825,

The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, is a student-centered research university that draws the best and brightest to an academic community committed to providing a premier undergraduate and graduate education. UA is dedicated to achieving excellence in scholarship, collaboration and intellectual engagement; providing public outreach and service to the state of Alabama and the nation; and nurturing a campus environment that fosters collegiality, respect and inclusivity.