Come Visit the Observatory!
Public Open Houses are an exciting way for the Queen's Observatory to give back to the Kingston community by sharing our knowledge and facilities to inquiring minds young and old. Our guests are invited to come and experience free of charge the wonders of our Universe from the smallest planets to the largest galaxies! The first part of the Open Houses consist of a presentation on an interesting topic that is accessible to all, for about 30 minutes. After the talk, and weather permitting, we head upstairs to tour the 14-inch telescope in the dome atop Ellis Hall and do some observing! Even if the weather is not favourable and we are not able to do any observing, tours of the facilities upstairs are still offered for those who are interested.
Our Open House events occur once a month, on the 2nd Saturday of every month, all year round, unless otherwise noted. They do not require registration: just show up and join the fun! Due to strict fire regulations, we are limited in the number of people that can be present on the 4th floor of Ellis Hall, and in the dome where our telescope is located. To handle this, we will issue a tour number ticket upon arrival on a first-come first-served basis, with priority given to groups with young children. We do our best to allow everyone that comes out to tour the facilities and observe in a timely fashion. However, on evenings with especially large turnouts, it may not be possible for all tours to be completed within an hour after the talk, especially those with later group numbers. We will do our best to keep all of those who are waiting engaged and entertained. We do appreciate your cooperation and patience on these evenings.
Next Open House:
Saturday, September 15th
Guest Speaker: Prof. Gregg Wade (Royal Military College)
Title: The Parker Solar Probe: the first sun-diving spacecraft
Talk Begins: 8:00 pm
Location: Ellis Hall Auditorium
Observing Activities: View planets, stars, nebulae and galaxies in our 14-inch dome telescope. Peruse our outdoor observing deck with several telescopes and high power binoculars, touring Kingston's night sky.
The start times of the Open Houses, which occur once a month, on the second Saturday of the month, change throughout the year. Here are the scheduled times of these events:
April: 8:00 - 9:30pm
May to August (inclusive): 9:00 - 10:30pm
September: 8:00 - 9:30pm
October to March (inclusive): 7:30 - 9:00pm