most Fridays, usually 8:30pm to 10pm

most Saturdays, usually 7:30pm to 10pm (please check Calendar of Events to confirm)

For ages six and older.

HRPO houses a 50-cm reflector, a 40-cm reflector and over a dozen smaller telescopes to bring the majesty of the night sky to the public. Trained operators work throughout the year in shifts, sharing duties via a rotating roster. Each operator has a pre-planned list of objects to highlight. However, requests will be taken if there is time and if all present have viewed the previous target. Additionally, many pertinent celestial targets have guaranteed viewing times.

The shorter viewing session of the week takes place most Fridays after a lecture aimed at a general adult audience.

Most Saturday nights have the longer sessions. Saturday nights are the best time to bring children under twelve, who may be interested in looking through the scopes but not necessarily in sitting for a lecture.

Plus Night

Plus Nights occur on Saturday of months which do not have a major Saturday event. During Plus nights sky viewing starts at 7pm and extra features are included…

*The well-known marshmallow roast commences at the campfire ring behind the building, lasting at least one hour and ending no later than 9:30pm. (As with sky viewing, the fire is weather-dependent.)

*Six to eight of HRPO’s collection of over fifty different physical science demonstrations will be on hand to perplex and amaze. Which demos will it be next time?

*An unaided-eye sky tour takes place, showing the public major features of the sky for that season. This is followed by a low-magnification tour of the Moon if the Moon is up. These tours begin at 8pm during Standard Time, and at 9pm during Daylight Time.

*Filters are inserted into the viewing mechanisms, to show patrons “hidden” details of the Moon, Mars, Jupiter and nebulae (when they are available).

*Reveal your age to discover any of your birth stars.

Lunar Viewing Versus Deep Sky Viewing

To decide whether to come when the Moon is available (to see exquisite detail on the lunar surface), or when the Moon is relatively low or below the horizon (to focus on deep-sky treats such as star clusters, nebulae and galaxies), go to the Calendar of Events and read the “Evening Sky Viewing” entry for any particular night. The summary will give the illumination and maximum altitude of the Moon.

The heading of this page links to a BRAS Forum thread that announces the likelihood of viewing during an upcoming public viewing session.

When HRPO has scheduled nighttime viewing, red guide lights can be seen at the pavilion between Highland Road and the main building. If those red lights are not on during a nighttime period HRPO is not open to the public, either because there was no planned event or because the event was shortened or canceled.