- Our public events — “Knights Under The Stars” — return for the Fall 2017 semester.
- The full schedule of events will be posted soon, but we will definitely have an event for the solar eclipse on August 21.
- That event will be by the Reflecting Pond, near Millican Hall — not at the Observatory! The street address for Millican Hall on the UCF campus is 4365 Andromeda Loop N., Orlando, FL.
- We will have telescopes set up for safely viewing the partial eclipse, as well as eclipse glasses for you to borrow so you can safely watch the eclipse with your own eyes. At no point during the partial eclipse is it safe to look at it without the proper eye protection! See these pages for more info about eclipse safety: NASA, American Astronomical Society.
- We will make every effort to have the event even if the weather is imperfect — e.g., if there are some clouds. But if it’s raining and threatening to not let up during the eclipse interval, we may have to cancel.
- You can always check for updates here on this website, on our Facebook page, and on our Twitter feed.
- Note that August 21 is also the first day of classes in the Fall semester. If you are coming for the event from off-campus, please allow for plenty of extra time to navigate through campus, to find parking, and (if you don’t have one already) to buy a parking permit.
- Also note that while the whole event lasts 90 minutes, the deepest part of the partial eclipse occurs around 2:50 pm. About 88% of the Sun’s diameter, and about 85% of the Sun’s area, will be covered. You do not need to stay for the entire event.
|No.||Date||Event Time||Sunset||End of Civil Twilight|
|1||Mon Aug 21
||2:00 – 3:30 pm EDT
|Note that this is a daytime event for the solar eclipse.|
What happens at a “Knights Under The Stars” event?
- At a typical event, we set up a variety of portable telescopes — usually Meade LX90s with 8-inch primary mirrors — and point them at various interesting objects in the sky. Each telescope is staffed by a knowledgeable volunteer who can explain to you what your seeing, and answer any other questions you have. All you have to do is show up and gaze in amazement through the telescopes at the wonders of the night sky!
- We also give visitors brief (~15-minute) tours of our permanently-mounted, research-quality 20-inch telescope. This is the telescope that is housed upstairs in the observatory building itself.
- The events are free and are open to UCF and non-UCF people alike.
- Parking at our site, for the purpose of visiting the observatory itself, is free — but space is limited, so please carpool if you can. You can of course park elsewhere on campus and walk to us, but you’ll need to have a parking permit already or to have purchased a daily permit from a permit dispensing machine.
- All ages are welcome. No reservations/registrations are required (though if you’re bringing a big group, let us know). There is no need to come for the entire time; just show up whenever you like. There is no set program; the events are very informal and casual. Just please follow our Facebook and/or Twitter accounts to be sure that the weather will let us be open; it’d be sad if you came for a visit when we had to cancel!
- Again, we strongly recommend that visitors review our safety guidelines before coming to the observatory.
- If you have any questions about KUTS, send email to email@example.com.