Night Skies in the Observatory

Tuesday, May 22, 2018 - 7:00pm to 10:00pm

  • Adults
  • Families
  • Evening
  • Members
  • Public

Join us for an evening of ‘out of this world’ astronomy activities hosted by Franklin Institute Chief Astronomer Derrick Pitts. ‘Night Skies at the Observatory’ is a monthly stargazing event connecting you to celestial objects in the night sky including stars, planets, and nebulae using telescopes in Bloom Observatory and at ‘Ben’s Starlight Lounge’ on our 5th floor rooftop observation deck, featuring a cash bar. Build your own experience from any combination of planetarium shows, a live science talk on astronomy or space science, hands-on astronomy activities and continuous telescopic observing all evening (weather permitting). The program is staffed with knowledgeable observers and free star maps are provided.



Shows in Fels Planetarium

7:15 pm –The Sky Tonight
8:15 pm – To Space and Back 
9:15 pm – The Sky Tonight

Space Talk in the Franklin Theater

8:00 pm – The Power to Connect: How Connections Create Amazing Opportunities

Dr. Sian Proctor - explorer, scientist, STEM communicator, and aspiring astronaut, gets to travel and participate in unique learning experiences every summer. She has done faculty exchanges to Australia, China, and the Netherlands. She has researched projects on Easter Island. She was a PolarTREC teacher in Barrow, Alaska, an astronomy ambassador to Chile, and a NOAA Teacher at Sea in Kodiak, Alaska. She has even lived in a Mars simulation on the big island of Hawaii. She has been featured on a Discovery Channel reality TV show called The Colony, a PBS show called Genius by Stephen Hawking, and she is currently in a Science Channel show called Strange Evidence. Tonight, you get to step into her world of science adventures!
The Theater is first come and fist serve and will open 15 minutes before show time

Activities in Planetarium Hallway
7:00 to 10:00 pm

Crash Landing
Ever wonder what would be most important to have if you crash-landed on the Moon? Come test your Moon survival knowledge against NASA Engineers!

Hit or Miss: The Impact of Cratering
How do planetary scientists figure out how old craters are on the Moon? Come join us to find out!


Joel M. Bloom Observatory
7:00 to 10:00 pm

We will be viewing Venus and Jupiter along with objects in the Ursa Major, Leo, Bootes, Gemini and Virgo Constellations. The Bloom Observatory will have knowledgeable astronomers available to assist in looking through our historic 10” Zeiss refracting telescope and our 9.25” Celestron Deluxe CPC 925 reflecting telescope.

Weather permitting


Activities in the Space Lounge
7:00 to 10:00 pm

3D Constellation Detective
Ever wonder what a constellation might look like if you looked at it from a different part of the universe? Check out the constellation Virgo this month as a scaled 3D model.

Night Vision Pins
Learn about light adaptation and make your own souvenir pin to help guide you for a night of stargazing 

Live ISS & Mars Feeds
We will have screens set up to show the live feeds coming from the International Space Station and Mars Curiosity Rover and a knowledgeable staff member available to answer questions about them.

Telescope Viewing on the Roof Deck
7:00 to 10:00 pm

We will be viewing Venus and Jupiter along with objects in the Ursa Major, Leo, Bootes, Gemini and Virgo Constellations. There will be two 8” Celestron CPC 800 reflecting telescopes and two 12” Orion Dobsonian reflecting telescopes set up viewing the heavens with knowledgeable astronomers stationed at every telescope to answer questions and assist guests with looking through the telescopes.

Weather permitting

•    Observatory and telescope viewing are weather permitting.
•    Planetarium shows and talks have limited seating and are on a first-come, first-served basis. The Planetarium and Theater will open 15 minutes before show times.

•    Thirsty? There is a fifth floor bar in the lounge; cash and credits cards are accepted.
•    The bar does not sell food but there are vending machines located on the first floor.

Purchase Member Tickets
Purchase Tickets

Ticket Prices:

$10 for Non-Members

$5 for Members