As a key component of your Astronomy lab is to learn about and gain an appreciation for observing the night sky and astronomical objects, Clear Skies observation nights are held on select Sunday-Thursday nights. Take notes the night of the observation and complete the worksheet provided. For Clear Skies, you may instead attend a Department of Physics and Astronomy Public Observing Night (dates and times listed below and here).


You must register for the Clear Skies event of your choice by emailing the Astronomy Laboratory Coordinator Dr. Caroline Roberts from your UI email ( stating the date you are signing up for. A day or so in advance of the date you signed up for, you will be sent an email confirming the details of your observation. Some Clear Skies nights may be cancelled for various reasons, including weather; you will receive an email if your Clear Skies is cancelled. If your first Clear Skies event is cancelled, it is expected that you register for and plan to attend a second night. Clear Skies enrollment numbers may be capped. For these reasons, it is important to make certain that you sign up for your first Clear Skies night sufficiently far enough in advance that if it is cancelled or if it is full, you still have time in the semester to attend a second night. If your second Clear Skies event is cancelled, you will receive credit for your Clear Skies without needing to do anything as long as you registered for both nights in advance of their cancellation with your UI email.


Spring 2024 Clear Skies Dates

Friday, March 158-9PMPublic Observing Night
Tuesday, March 199-10PMClear Skies
Wednesday, March 2010-11PMClear Skies
Friday, March 228-9PMPublic Observing Night
Monday, April 19-10PMClear Skies
Monday, April 812:30-3:00PMPublic Observing Day (Partial Solar Eclipse)*
Thursday, April 189-10PMClear Skies
Sunday, April 219-10PMClear Skies
Monday, April 2210-11PMClear Skies

*For April 8 only, students do not need to stay the full 2.5 hours and can choose their arrival time, but should note that the event ends at 3:00 and so they will need to arrive with enough time to complete their worksheet at the event (plan to arrive at 2:30 at the latest).