Night Skies in the Joel N. Bloom Observatory

Hosted by Franklin Institute Chief Astronomer Derrick Pitts, Night Skies in the Observatory is a monthly stargazing event held in the Joel N. Bloom Observatory. View celestial objects in the night sky, including stars, planets, nebulae, and if conditions are right, a galaxy or two, from 5 different rooftop telescopes in the Observatory. The evening includes a Fels Planetarium show and a lecture or presentation (appropriate for ages 8 and up) on an astronomical or space science topic. The Observatory is staffed with knowledgeable observers and free star maps are provided. This event runs from 6:00pm to 9:00pm.

February 11th : 6 – 9 p.m. — Time In Astronomy
Time is a very slippery concept to understand whether you’re speaking of the watch on your wrist, the seasons of the year, or what time it could be a billion light years away from Earth. Einstein’s work even suggested a way to make time stand still! Tonight, try to wrap your brain around our time-based explorations.

In the Fels Planetarium, James Aguirre, Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy University of Pennsylvania, walks us through his work with one of the most innovative telescopes on the planet in a talk titled “Seeing the Early Universe: A Most Unusual Telescope.” Described by Aguirre as what looks like a field of “128 antennas that look like baskets”, the PAPER telescope sense very low frequencies created by some of the earliest light of the universe.

March 10th : 6 – 9 p.m. — Sisters of the Stars: Women of Astronomy and Space Science
Though not always in the limelight, throughout history women have shined as groundbreaking scientists and intrepid team members pursuing amazing discoveries and the daring exploration of space. Join us as we highlight the women behind some of the most extraordinary adventures in the universe.

In the Fels Planetarium, PhD. Candidate Steven Gilhool, whose work focuses on exoplanets, low-mass stars, and new methods for measuring stellar velocities from high-resolution infrared spectra, will speak on issues related to his work.

April 14th : 7 – 10p.m. - Amazing Telescopes! In the Planetarium: Dr. Mark Devlin

May 12th : 7 – 10 p.m. – History of American Planetariums. In the Planetarium: Prof. Mark Trodden

June 9th : 7 – 10 p.m. – Worldwide Stories of the Night Sky; In the Planetarium: Ashley Baker

Due to the popularity of this event, we strongly recommend that you purchase tickets in advance as capacity is limited and may sell out. To purchase tickets online, click the date of the event you want to attend and choose the print ticket at home option.  To purchase tickets over the phone, call 215-448-1200 from 9am – 5pm. Admission for Members is free but you must register by calling 215 448 1200 from 9am – 5pm.

Ticket Prices:

$5.00 Per Person

Free for Members

Upcoming Events
Night Skies in the Observatory
Time In Astronomy
Thursday, February 11
Night Skies in the Observatory
Sisters of the Stars: Women of Astronomy and Space Science
Thursday, March 10