Astronomy@CCSU

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

 

Have an astronomy question?
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

Until further notice, all planetarium shows and observing sessions are cancelled due to the COVID-19 campus shutdown. Continue to check the website for further information as we move forward through this health crisis. We are looking forward to meeting you all under the stars once again. Be safe and stay healthy!

Image result for facebook iconLike and Follow us on Facebook! Looking to book a school or group show? Click here to email the Planetarium Director, Carol Ivers

All of our programming is free and open to the general public. We do have 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 schools and community groups and civic organizations (such as scouts, PTOs, home schooling groups, libraries, assisted living centers, etc.). We apologize for the fact that we cannot schedule private shows or observing sessions for individuals or individual families (including birthday parties) and ask you to please respect this policy. To book a special group event, or to contact the Planetarium Director Carol Ivers 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. Because we offer special shows for groups, we respectfully ask that large groups not attend the public shows but instead book their own separate events. This will guarantee that your group gets its choice of show topics and helps us serve as many families as possible! If you have young children, age 5 or lower, we would be pleased to offer a special age-appropriate program for their school or day care.

  • Upcoming Public Planetarium Shows
  • Based on University guidelines amid the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, we are required to cancel the planetarium shows originally scheduled for Saturday, March 21st and Saturday, April 4th. We had hoped to see you all for a special 30th anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope show on Friday April 17th at 8 PM to review all the eye candy the HST has given us all these years, but this looks very unlikely at the moment.


    Detailed directions and parking information are available here. Doors to the planetarium will open 30 minutes before the advertised show time. Please keep in mind that we have a limited seating capacity of just under 100. We regret that we do not have sufficient staff to offer alternate overflow programming, so please have a personal "Plan B." The program begins promptly at the advertised start time and there is no late admittance. This is a matter of safety, as the planetarium is much darker than a movie theater. If you arrive and the doors to the planetarium are closed, the show has started and admittance is no longer possible.

    After the show, if skies are clear, we invite you to join us for observing of the real night sky through our telescopes. Note: Please be aware that very cold temperatures can negatively impact the functioning of the telescopes and dome.

    Our astronomy professors are also available to give talks at your facility (within 45 minutes driving distance to CCSU and as their schedule permits) on a variety of astronomical topics 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.

    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. All donations are welcomed, no matter the size: 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