|Planetariums & Observatories in New Jersey
College of Morris Planetarium
214 Center Grove Rd.
The County College of Morris Planetarium is an 80 seat facility
which uses a Minolta Planetarium and computer and projector which
allows you to see recreation of the seasonal night sky (feels like
you are sitting outside but in comfortable chairs) planet locations,
and various science topics, such as the planets, latest Chandra
discoveries, new planets, and possibilities of Northern Lights.
The shows they offer are given live, and therefore shaped to the
audience. If you have a question during the show, you are not only
allowed, but encouraged to ask it right then and there. The public
shows vary every month from topic to topic. The subject usually
involves the night sky, and some science, and the level at which
it is presented is mixed so that someone of any age will get something
out of it. However, younger children who are afraid of the dark
might not like sitting there for an hour. There are stories told
and science explained. They also offer private shows whereas the
topics of these can be whatever topic you would like. The only requirement
is that there be 15 people to your group, and the prices are the
same. Some groups who enjoy coming are Brownies and Girl Scouts
working on their badges, Cub Scouts working on their arrow points,
and simply groups of people who are going camping and want to be
able to identify constellations when they are out there. The only
limit to the topic and the group is the limit of their imagination,
in other words, the sky is the limit.
The Newark Museum
49 Washington St.
The Dreyfuss Planetarium, located on the first floor of the Newark
Museum, offers an other-worldly experience that is further enhanced
by new projection equipment, digital audio and video, computers,
video projectors and a Sky-Skan automation system. They house a
Zeiss Skymaster ZKP3 star projector, New Jersey's first and only
planetarium to own one. They also have a Sphaera, a portable planetarium
dome which educators bring to schools enabling students to study
the cosmos in their learning environment. A gift shop is available
offering astronomy merchandise, books, postcards and more.
W. H. Simpson Observatory
Washington Crossing State Park
The John W. H. Simpson Observatory is operated by the Amateur Astronomer's
Association of Princeton and conducts free public starwatches. They
house two telescopes, an antique 6.25 inch Hastings-Byrne refractor
and a state of the art 14 inch Celestron Schmidt-Cassegrain refractor.
The observatory is open to the general public on the first and last
Friday nights - March through October, and all Friday nights during
the month of May and the month of October. Sessions run from twilight
to 11:30 p.m., weather permitting. For convenience, the observatory
has a bathroom (summer use only), a heated "warming room"
in winter and a telephone. The observatory is open for use at anytime
for any member who is a keyholder (keyholders take a short course
in observatory operation and agree to accept scheduled duty on a
Friday public starwatch night).
H. Robinson Observatory
Voorhees State Park
The Paul H. Robinson Observatory is operated by the New Jersey Astronomical
Association and houses numerous telescopes including a 26"
Reflector Telescope which is the largest telescope available to
the public in the state. It's base is a massive iron casting nearly
7 feet high weighing over 4 tons and the entire assembly is over
15 feet tall. The observatory is equipped for both photographic
and visual observation. With the equipment, you are able to see
stars, planets, galaxies, nubulae and other types of deep sky objects.
Every 4th Saturday evening each month they host an expert who gives
a presentation on some astronomical topic.
Hall Astronomical Observatory
Peyton Hall, Ivy Lane, Princeton University
Peyton Hall Observatory holds public starwatches led by graduate
students of Princeton University's Department of Astrophysical Sciences
and are scheduled for 7:00-8:30 p.m., the first Wednesday of each
month (in the event of cloudy skies, they will reschedule to the
second Wednesday). They will be looking at planets, nebulae, open
clusters, and (conditions permitting) looking at globular clusters
and nearby galaxies using: A 12" Schmidt-Cassegrain. They are
quite happy to answer your astronomy-oriented questions (or questions
in other areas if you're not overly concerned with them being correct).
State Museum Planetarium
205 West State St.
The NJ State Museum Planetarium is a 150 seat state-of-the-art planetarium
with numerous programs held throughout the year. They are one of
only 60 planetariums in the country participating in StarStation
One, which introduces audiences to the International Space Station
currently under construction by 16 different countries 200 miles
above the Earth. Call or visit their website for hours and admission
Valley Community College Planetarium
Rt. 28 & Lamington Rd.
The Raritan Valley Community College Planetarium houses a Spitz
Planetarium, video projectors, full color laser projector and 8
inch Celestron telescopes for special events. You will travel through
time and space exploring exploding nebulas, mysterious black holes,
and the solar system from it's beginning to the present day. They
are a NJ Teacher Professional Development Provider and conducts
teacher workshops in astronomy using a Starlab portable planetarium.
They are one of 11 national sites for Project ASTRO, a program that
partners volunteer astronomers to work with teachers and their students
in grades 3-9 doing hands-on astronomy activities. They conduct
educational shows for school children as well as credit and non-credit
classes for adults. Several shows and special events are hel throughout
the year as well as laser concerts on Friday and Saturday nights
featuring a variety of music such as Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Led
Zeppelin and Country music. They have a gift shop which features
a large selection of science and astronomy books, posters, post
cards, astronaut ice cream and much more. Open year round to schools
Monday to Friday from 10am to 2pm.
Stockton College Observatory
Port Republic Road (Route 575)
The Richard Stockton College Observatory is an educational laboratory
which welcomes viewers of every age, during their public viewing
J. Novins Planetarium
Ocean County College
The Robert J. Novins Planetarium offers multimedia shows and space
science using a Minolta star projector under a 40 foot dome, Sky-Skan
automation, 4 video projectors, 25 carousel projectors and over
120 one-shot and special effect projectors in their 119 seat facility.
Children 6-12 must be accompanied by an adult. The planetarium is
open year round. Please visit the planetarium's website for their
Miller Sperry Observatory
Union County College
1033 Springfield Ave.
The Sperry Observatory was dedicated in 1967 and is home of the
Amateur Astronomers, Inc located within Union County College. The
Observatory houses two of the largest telescopes on the East Coast
for amateur use. The 18 foot East Dome holds a 10" f/15 refractor
and the 20 foot West Dome holds a 24" f/11 Cassegrain reflector.
East Telescope rests on an 8 foot thick concrete pier atop piles
driven 30 feet into the ground. Located in the observatory is a
large classroom and a library of over 1200 books and periodicals
available to the membership