Open houses are free, inclusive opportunities to learn more about astronomy and experience the universe firsthand. At each open house, members of SAS operate the telescopes and the planetarium of the Angell Hall Observatory. Visitors can view astronomical objects through the 8" and 0.4m telescopes (weather permitting), watch a planetarium show on a number of interesting topics, or learn about the cosmos from a presentation.
Opens Houses are held on Friday nights and typically on the same week as our General Meetings.
- September 13 (9 pm - 11 pm)
- September 27 (9 pm - 11 pm)
- October 25 (9 pm - 11 pm)
- November 8 (8 pm - 10 pm)
- November 22 (8 pm - 10 pm)
- December 6 (8 pm - 10 pm)
From light-polluted Ann Arbor the best subjects for viewing are typically the planets, the moon, the constellations, and colorful binary star systems. We also can show you a few of the brighter nebulae, star clusters, and galaxies in the sky. Visitors are encouraged to bring binoculars and lots of questions for the present SAS members. Keep in mind that the objects we can observe depend on the time of year so there are new things to see at each open house! Please check our social media or the section above on the day of an open house to check if the weather will permit us to take the telescopes out and observe.
Angell Hall's planetarium projects more than 7000 stars, the sun, the moon, the planets, the milky way, and star clusters. Come see what the night sky looks like without light pollution! Planetarium shows are held during all open houses rain or shine. The each planetarium show lasts approximately 35 minutes.
The Angell Hall Observatory is located on the roof of Angell Hall (435 S State St), on the University of Michigan's Central Campus.
Angell Hall is the western part of a four-building complex, which also includes Tisch Hall (south), Haven Hall (southeast) and Mason Hall (northeast). Most of the entrances into the complex are open in the early evening. However, they will automatically lock later in the evening, at which time you will need MCard access to enter. The two most convenient and commonly-used entrances are:
- East (Diag) Entrance - This entrance is located in the middle of the complex as you approach from the Diag. You will have to walk through the ground floor of Haven Hall to reach Angell Hall. If it has locked, the MCard reader is to the left of the doors.
- West (State St.) Entrance - This entrance is located facing State St, just up the outer stairs and behind the columns. Once you enter, the elevators will be immediately to your front left. If it has locked, the MCard reader is next to a column to the left of the doors.
Once inside the building, follow the posted signs for the Astronomy Open House until you reach the elevators, and take them to either the third floor (planetarium) or fifth floor (rooftop observing and other special events). Once you arrive at these floors, there will be further signs directing you to your destination.
Ample public parking, both street and structure, is available all over downtown Ann Arbor. Metered street parking generally operates from 8 am - 6 pm, thus most street parking during open house hours is free (be sure to check the meter!). Nearby parking structures include the Maynard St structure (accessible from either Thompson St or Maynard St) and Liberty Square (accessible from Washington St).
No special registrations or reservations are required. These are entirely free events. The observatory and planetarium are both wheelchair accessible.