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Astronomy@CCSU

More information about astronomy courses, minors or student research
Contact the planetarium, or book a group planetarium show, observing session, or workshop
Request a talk by Dr. Larsen or Dr. Piatek
Directions
Support our programs with a donation
Geological Sciences Department Blog
CCSUniverse Astronomy blog

 

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Astronomy and The Hobbit
Create a Harry Potter Starfinder
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome to the home of Astronomy at CCSU, housed in the Geological Sciences Department.

We offer minors in Astronomy and Astrobiology, including a variety of astronomy courses at the introductory through advanced level. We also offer student research opportunities in planetary and lunar astronomy, variable stars, and astronomy education and outreach.

Our facilities include the Copernican Planetarium, Copernican Observatory (with a 16-inch Cassegrain telescope), and a variety of portable telescopes, all of which are available for student use (after proper training).

Copernican Planetarium and Observatory

All of our programming is free and open to the general public. Seating is on a first-come basis - the planetarium seats about 90. There is also space for wheelchairs. The observing deck with portable telescopes is handicapped accessible but the observatory involves stairs. We offer free planetarium shows, observing sessions, and hands-on astronomy workshops to school and community groups and civic organizations (such as scouts, PTOs, home schooling groups, libraries, assisted living centers, etc.). We do not schedule shows or observing sessions for individual families. To book a special group event, or to contact the planetarium director, use the mail link in the menu bar on the righthand side of this page. You can also leave a phone message at 860-832-2950.

Our astronomy professors are also available to give talks at your facility (within 45 minutes driving distance to CCSU and as their schedule permits) if you provide a way to show a PowerPoint presentation (i.e. a projector or compatible large wall monitor). Please use the links in the menu bar to contact Dr. Piatek and Dr. Larsen.

Upcoming Public Planetarium Shows

It's exciting times at the Copernican Planetarium! Not only are we regularly changing the topics of our free public planetarium shows, but due to popular demand, we are experimenting with different days/times.

Our next show will be on Friday, September 20th at 7 PM. The topic of this show will be Climate Change – perhaps the most important topic in science today.

Doors to the planetarium will open 30 minutes before the advertised show time. Plan on being here at least 15 minutes before the start time because the presentation will start promptly and late admittance is not guaranteed. After the show, if skies are clear, we invite you to join us on the roof of the building for observing of the real night sky through our telescopes.

Announcing Our New Planetarium Director!

We are excited to announce that after a detailed search process, Ms. Carol Ivers has been selected to lead the planetarium and observatory and is now on board! Watch this space for some exciting new changes over the next few months! To schedule a free show for your public group, please use the email link in the navigation bar. We prefer this to phone calls because email provides a written record of your request.

Support our Programs!

Your generous support helps us keep our programming free for all members of the public as well as school and community groups: https://ccsu.networkforgood.com/causes/10287-copernican-observatory-planetarium

It's not too early to prepare for the April 8, 2024 Total Solar Eclipse!

Plan ahead for the April 8, 2024 total solar eclipse (totality will be visible from parts of New England!)

What's it like to experience a total solar eclipse? Listen to Dr. Larsen's enthusiastic comments in this video taken during the total solar eclipse in the Faroe Islands (her 4th total solar eclipse).

Visit the CCSUniverse blog to read about Dr. Larsen's experiences at the August 21, 2017 eclipse