North Georgia Astronomical Observatory
Daily Operational Status
Weather permitting, normally open 7:30 p.m. EST or 9:30 p.m. during EDT Monday through Thursday for Introductory Astronomy classes.
Weather permitting, open 9:30 p.m. EST/EDT Fridays for the OPEN program (Observatory-Planetarium Public Education Nights).
Opening times posted on our Facebook supersede the times above.
For the General Public
Observatory-Planetarium Public Education Nights (OPEN Program)
The general public and students are invited to come out on Friday nights after the free OPEN Program planetarium show for celestial viewing.
The Friday OPEN program telescopic viewing always begins at 9:30 p.m. (weather permitting).
For UNG Students
The North Georgia Astronomical Observatory (NGAO) is open to students any clear night Monday through Friday while classes are in session.
The observatory is open Monday through Thursday beginning at 7:30 p.m. EST (9:30 p.m. EDT) weather permitting.
For School/Group Visits
NASA All-Sky Fireball Network Camera
On July 10, 2012, Dr. William Cooke and his crew from the NASA Meteoroid Environmental Office (MEO) came to NGAO and installed the eighth in a series of "all-sky" cameras designed to detect, track and study bright meteors (fireballs).
NGAO's Fireball Camera is currently calibrated and integrated into the network. Check out this link to the NASA All Sky Fireball Network to see "live-view" images throughout the night and archived videos of detected fireballs over the previous three weeks!
NGAO Weather Links
The Clear Sky Chart Homepage uses a Canadian weather service cloud condition forecast graphic to forecast the sky condition (clouds), atmospheric transparency, and darkness at several hundred sites in Canada and the USA. The NGAO clock below is linked to the NGAO clock on the Clear Sky Chart website.
We usually consult the visible or IR animation for MGM (southeast). The visible image is only usable during daylight hours for the eastern continental U.S. The water vapor image is often helpful as well.
The high wind shear associated with the jet stream creates thin turbulent layers which can degrade the "seeing". (The visible detail of an object as seen through the telescope is limited by atmospheric conditions. Astronomers use the term "seeing" in describing the quality of the detail or resolution allowed by the atmosphere, as in: "good seeing" = lots of detail, "bad seeing" = not much detail) If the core of the jet stream is within a couple hundred kilometers of the observing site, the seeing may be affected.