Program Details: Open to the public

Friday Night Stargazing at Sommers-Bausch Observatory

Free public open houses are held at Sommers-Bausch Observatory (SBO) on Friday evenings (weather permitting) throughout the year when CU Boulder classes are in session. Open houses begin at 8:00 p.m. during the fall and spring semesters and 9:00 p.m. during the summer. Open House nights are free.

In addition to SBO's pier-mounted 20-inch Planewave telescopes, the program also has tripod-mounted binoculars and the world's largest starwheel for identifying bright stars and constellations. Depending on the crowd size, you may also get a chance to visit the 24-inch Boller & Chivens telescope in the original SBO dome. Observing targets include planets, nebulae, star clusters, and galaxies. Requests may be accommodated depending on crowd size (and observability).

Open houses typically last from 1-3 hours depending upon the weather, the quality of the night, and the size of the crowd. If you want to check our operational status before arriving, please call our observing status line (303.492.2020) 30 minutes prior to start time. You are welcome to stop by any time after the start time and stay as long as you wish. However, if no one arrives during the first hour, the observing night will be canceled.

Most of our evening programs are hosted by the Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences Department's graduate students, and often faculty professors, researchers, local amateur astronomers, and/or undergraduate astronomy majors join to answer your astronomy questions.

This is a public program and there is no fee to attend. For more information, please visit the program website.


On Campus

  • Sommers-Bausch Observatory

In Colorado

  • Arvada
  • Boulder
  • Commerce City
  • Denver
  • Fort Collins
  • Lafayette
  • Lakewood
  • Thornton

Sponsoring Units

Arts & Sciences, College of

  • Astrophysical & Planetary Sciences, Department of

Program Contact

Fabio Mezzalira
Manager, Sommers-Bausch Observatory

Program Categories


  • Education (K-12)
  • Physics
  • Recreation/Entertainment
  • Science
  • Space Sciences
  • STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)

Program Types:

  • Community Event
  • Public Lecture/Demonstration


  • Children & Youth (outside school)
  • Families
  • General Public
  • Students - Elementary School
  • Students - High School
  • Students - Middle School

We do our best to accurately represent CU Boulder’s outreach programs and services, but they are subject to change and may no longer be active in a community. Please contact the program directly for current information.