The Department of Astronomy at the University of Maryland, College Park hosts Open Houses at the UMD Observatory on the 5th and the 20th of every month. On Open House evenings a guest speaker will give approximately a half hour talk about a topic in astronomy. The talk is followed by viewing of celestial objects through the observatory's telescopes, weather permitting. If weather does not permit viewing, the talk will still go on as scheduled.

Upcoming Speakers

(download a copy of the Fall 2006 Speaker schedule)

  • Tuesday, September 5, 9:00 pm
    Dr. Cole Miller on "Colliding Black Holes in a Computer"

  • Wednesday, September 20, 9:00 pm
    Dr. David Rupke on "Blowing Bubbles"
    MC: Laura Brenneman

  • Thursday, October 5, 9:00 pm
    Daniel Jontof-Hutter on "The Age of Planet Discovery"
    MC: Nicholas Chapman

  • Friday, October 20, 9:00 pm
    Megan DeCesar on "Neutron Stars and Pulsars"
    MC: Mia Bovill

  • Sunday, November 5, 8:00 pm
    Mia Bovill on "The Science of Science Fiction: Wormholes and Warpdrive"
    MC: Megan DeCesar

  • Monday, November 20, 8:00 pm
    Andrew Johnston, NASM, on "A Tale of Two Planets: Comparing Earth and Mars"
    MC: Ashley Zauderer
         To understand the geological history of Mars, field studies and remote sensing are used to make comparisons to features on the Earth. Scientists are using these techniques to research the role of water in changing the surface of Mars.

  • Tuesday, December 5, 8:00 pm
    Elizabeth Warner on "Buying a Telescope? Things to Consider"
    MC: Stacy Teng

  • Wednesday, December 20, 8:00 pm
    Phil Wherry, NOVAC, on "Computer-Assisted Observation Planning"
    MC: Matthew Knight
         Phil's talk will discuss the use of desktop planetarium software to make the planning process for visual observing more productive and enjoyable. Participants will learn how to use software to:
    * determine what will be visible and when;
    * print custom sky charts for a given location and time;
    * understand field of view and the effects of eyepiece selections; and,
    * develop a good viewing sequence for an observing session.

Get a sneak peek at our Spring 2007 schedule!