Public Programs

Observing & Presentations

The Observatory is open every Friday night, March through Mid-December, regardless of sky conditions. During the winter season, we only have public programs on selected dates. Due to changing seasonal sunsets times the Observatory adjusts its program starting times. See Public Programs Seasonal Chart below for exact times.

Public Admission
$5.00 adults
$3.00 seniors/students
$16.00 family maximum
Group rate (10 or more): $3 adult, $2 senior/student
KOSC Members: Free

 If the skies are not clear, you will receive a free pass to come back on another night – you just can’t lose coming to Kopernik on a Friday night.

 Public Programs Seasonal Hours

Doors Open
Public Program 
March – May
7:30 PM
8:00 PM
8:00 PM
8:30 PM
September – November
7:30 PM
8:00 PM
December – February
6:30 PM
7:00 PM

Winter 2016-17 Public Programs

Click for printable schedule


Friday, Dec 16: Star of Bethlehem Movie       7 p.m.

Kopernik has been granted special permission to show the thought-provoking movie Star of Bethlehem. An unusual star is claimed to have appeared in the sky at the time of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. This movie is an investigation into the story found in the Biblical Gospel of Matthew about this ‘Star of Bethlehem.’ It includes the words of Roman and Jewish historians alongside those of ancient prophets. Come learn about this ancient mystery and draw your own conclusions. If clear, see the stars over Vestal and other celestial objects. Click for trailer.


Saturday, Dec. 31 (7 pm): Observing into the New Year – CLEAR ONLY
Looking for a different New Year’s Eve experience?  If the skies are clear, spend the evening at Kopernik, observing and reflecting. Look deep into the night sky at Mars, the Milky Way, and a vast array of galaxies, nebulas and star clusters. Enjoy laser tours of the stars and planets, giving you a greater appreciation of our vast universe, and a chance to pause and reflect on your place in it. Call Kopernik at (607)748-3685 or check early that evening for sky conditions.

Friday, Jan. 13 & Feb. 10, 2017: Winter Skies       7 p.m.
Learn how to identify constellations and planets in the winter sky, and how to spot the International Space Station. Free star maps will be provided. If you have your own telescope, bring it with you and a Kopernik Astronomical Society member will help you learn how to assemble it and use it. Although it is cold, winter is one of the best times to view planets and stars, so head up to Kopernik, away from the city lights! If clear, see a full Moon, star clusters and double stars!


Winter Star Party

Celebrating Mikołaj Kopernik’s Birthday!

Saturday, Feb. 18 

6 p.m.

A star party is a gathering of amateur astronomers for the purpose of observing the sky. Kopernik’s annual Winter Star Party tradition continues this year and you are invited! At 7 p.m. Fr. George Coyne SJ PhD, Director-Emeritus of the Vatican Observatory, will present a talk about Nicholas Copernicus (aka Mikolaj Kopernik) the namesake of the Kopernik Observatory. At the end of his presentation, celebrate Mikołaj Kopernik’s birthday (February 19, 1473) with cake.  If clear, throughout the evening you can brave the cold and see winter constellations, the Milky Way, the Orion Nebula, Jupiter and much more through Kopernik’s powerful telescopes.

Be sure to dress warm for winter observing! 
Coffee, tea, and hot chocolate are available for purchase in the main building.