Observatory re-construction is almost complete! We still have to motorize the roof. We'll do that as soon as the weather allows. Photos of our progress are on the news page.
We will have a nice total lunar eclipse on January 20-21 of 2019!
Audio Controls Are at the Top of the Page So You Can Listen to Videos.
Total Lunar Eclipse for USA on January 20 - 21, 2019 from LarryKoehn on Vimeo.
Please Note - The Times Listed In the Animation Above Are Off By 1 Hour! The Times I Have Listed Below Are Correct!
Even though it occurs on a Sunday night, we'll offer a viewing session! More information is below.
Bring a lawn chair if possible Please note these sessions are cancelled if the sky conditions/weather are not good. What does that mean? Well, (optical) telescopes can't see through clouds! It will need to be almost perfectly clear. The next potential problem is wind. If the wind velocity is more than about 10 mi/hr - that's too much! A telescope magnifies the size of the objects we view - and the effects of the wind! Please check the ClearSkyClock and weather links on the home page of this site! What if you're in doubt the observing session will take place? If it's not perfectly clear and calm, you can call (308) 293-5776 before leaving for the session!
From O'Neill Nebraska take US HWY 281 north to Road 883 (Johnson's Three Eagles). Turn left (west) 2 miles to 490 Avenue. Turn right (north) 0.6 mile to the red gate. Proceed north of the gate another few hundred feet. You will see the entrance on the right. We will have you park along the fence near the entrance. Be advised there is an electric fence on 3 sides of the building location. I will be putting up signs on the highway and at Ave 490 that say "Star Party" Please call or e-mail to register so I know how many people to plan for!
Friday January 4th, 2019 at 7:00 PM - The sky will be moonless allowing us to explore the winter deep sky! We'll look at the Andromeda Galaxy, Orion Nebula, Crab Nebula, Uranus and more.
Sunday January 20-21, 2019 - Visitors can come to the observatory as early as 9:00 PM. Here are the eclipse times - Partial eclipse begins at 9:34 PM. Totality begins at 10:41 PM. Mid-totality will be at 11:13 PM. Totality will end at 11:43 PM. And the partial eclipse will end at 12:51 AM. Again, all times are eastern.
Bring warm clothes, a chair, and binoculars if you have them. We do have hot water and instant coffee/cocoa at the observatory - but no restrooms!
If you want to know about all Tri-City and O'Neill Area astronomical opportunities available free to the public this month, check here!
If you would like to help us move, call us at 308-293-5776 before 10:00 PM daily or contact by e-mail.
We look forward to seeing you!
When visiting the observatory, here are some rules/recommendations you should consider:
1) Please stay in or close to the observatory. This
facility is located on private property, which is not mine. Please
show your thanks to the owners by keeping the area clean and
2) Please, while in the observatory, don't touch anything unless you ask and/or have been instructed as to the proper use of the instrument!
3) Bring a lawn chair for each member of your group, that is if you plan on staying a while, as we hope you will. If it is clear, please keep in mind that it often takes a while to find objects for you to look at. Often there are others in line to see these things as well. If it is cloudy, you are welcome to pull up a chair and ask as many questions as you like. We have some chairs, but not many.
4) Bring a flashlight for dark-sky observing sessions! (If the moon is in the sky, you may not need it.) You will need one of these to safely navigate from your car to the building. We purposely don't have any lights in the area of the facility. Once in the building, we generally ask that you don't use your flashlight (with its white bulb) unless you ask. We have red lights which will help you see where you are going inside the building!
5) No smoking is allowed in or around the building!
6) In winter, please bring plenty of warm clothing! This can't be over stressed. Standing still in the cold is nothing like being active in it! Wear several layers and don't forget those gloves/mittens and something for your head. There is no such thing as glamour when it comes to staying warm! There is no heat in the observatory!
7) In Summer - don't forget the mosquito repellant!
8) Be advised there are no bathroom facilities in the observatory!
9) No boisterous behavior within the observatory, or around it, will be tolerated!
10) Help us keep gates closed so as to not let cattle out! Please don't disturb the cattle. If you like them, admire them from a distance!
Worried about the threat of light pollution in your area? For more information on it and how you can help educate others to enjoy lights AND the night sky - check out our light pollution page and the link page!
Send comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Keep Looking Around!
Mark Urwiller - Web Page Administrator
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