The College of Charleston Observatory (58 Coming Street) will be open to the public on Friday, January 17, 2014 from 6:30 until 8:00 p.m. There is no cost for this event and children are welcome.

Astronomy Professor Laura Penny says Jupiter will be the only naked-eye planet visible, but it will be up the entire time.  The Moon will make a late appearance and with the main 16-inch telescope, stargazers may see Uranus.  Otherwise, it will be a normal ‘winter’ sky, with Orion, Taurus, Gemini, Canis Major and Minor, etc. The portable planetarium will be running along with demonstration rooms downstairs in the Hollings Science Center.

Astronomers from the Department of Physics and Astronomy will be manning four eight-inch telescopes and the 16-inch telescope in the observatory dome. They will be able to answer any questions observers have while gazing.

Stargazers should enter the Rita Liddy Hollings Science Center (58 Coming Street) through the Coming Street entrance and check in with the Society of Physics Students host, who will direct you to the location of the indoor and outdoor activities. Please note open-toe shoes are not permitted on the observing deck and if you plan to bring a large group (10 or more), or if you will need special accommodations, please contact Chris True at or 843-953-2031.

For further information and last-minute weather alerts, please refer to

The Department of Physics and Astronomy will hold open houses on February 21, 2014 and March 21, 2014 as well, however as the sunset times change, the times will also change.