This is a new program we are trying out. Every once in a while, UMD Observatory Coordinator Elizabeth has time to come out and do her own observing/imaging projects. On those nights, she will also have a few of the other telescopes set up for observing. There is no fixed schedule of these nights because it is dependent on her husband's travel schedule, her own work schedule, as well as the weather!

  • To get notified of an impromptu observing session, sign up for the UMD Observatory mailing list.
  • Details about the open times will be in the email message that is sent out.
  • The impromptu sessions are less formal. You may arrive any time between the hours listed in the email message.
  • The lecture hall will not be open. Come straight down to the observatory building.
  • If you forward her email to your friends not on the mailing list, be sure to include a link to the page with directions.


During some of these sessions, there may be opportunities to take photographs using your camera and our telescopes.

  • If you have an SLR or DSLR, make sure you have the t-ring for your camera model.
  • A shutter release cable is recommended but not required.
  • Point-n-shoot cameras (pocket cameras, cell phone cameras) can get okay images of brighter targets by simply being held up to the eyepiece of the telescope.


This program is free, however we do accept donations!