Newark Museum, 49 Washington St., Newark, 973-596-6529 for schedules. Press 2 for weekly update on the night sky, sunrise, sunset and moon phase information. 24-hr. Sky Report: 973-596-6611. For the latest dates to see the space station and other satellites, visit Heavens Above website or link to it from the Newark Museum website. Wed.-Fri. shows at 2pm, Sat. & Sun. shows on the hour from 1-4pm. Adults $5, children under 12/srs./college students $3, not recommended for children under 4. Tickets available at the Information Desk when the museum opens on a first come, first served basis. Strollers are not permitted and all children must be accompanied by an adult. Planetarium shows are followed by a tour of the constellations and information on how to view the planets. Sphæra portable planetarium outreach program, 973-596-6690.
County College of Morris, Cohen Hall, B building, 214 Center Grove Rd., Randolph, 973-328-5076. Planetarium programs are presented to school groups during the week and to the public on select weekends.
William D. McDowell Observatory
Meadowlands Environment Center, Two Dekorte Park Plaza, Lyndhurst, 201-460-8300. Open to the public for monthly telescope viewing nights and special events. Visit website link for schedule.
Morris Museum Astronomical Society
973-631-0178. Meets eight times a year on the second Thursday of the month at 7:30pm at the Morris Museum. Membership is open to ages 14 and older; families welcome.
New Jersey State Museum Planetarium
205 West State St., Trenton, 609-292-6464. Weekend public shows 1, 2, 3 & 4pm during the school year; weekday shows are added during school vacations. Adults $7, 12 and under $5, available on first-come, first-served basis. Printable coupon online for $1 off. 150-seat planetarium is open for public programs, school programs, scouting astronomy programs and birthday parties.
North Jersey Astronomical Group
Free telescope nights Thurs. 8-9pm in front of Richardson Hall at Montclair State University, Montclair during the school year and skywatches for special events, weather permitting.
Robert J. Novins Planetarium
Ocean County College, College Dr. (parking lot 2), Toms River, 732-255-0343, 732-255-0400 ext. 2111. Recorded show information: 732-255-0342. Public shows are presented Fri.-Sat.; additional weekdays during summer. Adults $10, srs. $8, children 12 & under $7, family pack (2 adults, 3 children) $35. School programs; portable planetarium; birthday parties; space store. The Astronomical Society of the Toms River Area (ASTRA) meets 7pm on the second Friday of the month and is open to interested people of all ages.
Wonders of the Seasonal Sky, tour of the current season's night sky; children's shows; laser shows. Visit website for schedule and to purchase tickets.
Pajama Night, family-friendly show for all ages. 5:30 & 7pm.
Raritan Valley Community College Planetarium
Rt. 28 & Lamington Rd. (Rt. 78 exit 26 or Rt, 22W), North Branch, 908-231-8805. Park in lot #1, 6 or 7. Admission $7 two shows on the same day $13, not recommended for children under 5. Evening laser shows are recomended for ages 12 and older. Reservations recommended. Group rates; school group shows; Starlab portable planetarium for rent to educators who have attended summer workshop. Also offers Project ASTRO, a program that matches teachers in grades 2-9 with a volunteer astronomer; Family ASTRO, a one-day training program open to anyone with an interest in astronomy; and astronomy workshops for teachers of grades 2-12.
Public Star Shows, Laser Concerts, for all ages. Visit website link for schedule.
3M Observatory is open on clear-sky evenings when there are public shows.
The Sky Above, Sensory-Friendly Show, one-hour show adapted for families with children on the autism spectrum or with developmental disabilities of all ages.
Meditation Under the Stars, 60-min. guided meditation while watching the stars.
Oct 24, 31
Spooky Skies, 3 & 7pm. Ages 8 to adult.
Fright Light, 4pm. Laser concert ages 6 to adult.
Oct 24, 30, 31
Fright Light II, 8pm. Friday at 9pm. Laser concert for ages 13 to adult.
The Skies Over Hogwarts, 7 & 8pm. Ages 8 and older.
Nov 22, Dec 13
The Sky Above, sensory-friendly astronomy and music show designed for families with children on the Autism spectrum or those with developmental disabilities. During the show, the doors remain open so children may freely leave and return if they choose. Lights are left dim (instead of dark) and the audio is lowered and kept at a consistent level. The show includes music, laser lights, stories and information about the planets, the Moon and constellations. All material is presented on a very basic level. All ages. 4:30pm. $8 per person. Reservations strongly suggested.
Paul H. Robinson Observatory
Voorhees State Park, 251 County Rd. Route 513 (rt. 78 to Rt. 31N), Glen Gardner, 908-638-8500. March & April: open 4th Sat. 8-10pm. Memorial Day-Oct. 31: open Sat. 8-10pm and Sun. 2-5pm. Sponsored by the New Jersey Astronomical Association, evening sessions include night sky observing and daytime sessions include solar viewing, weather permitting. On the 4th Sat. from March through Oct., a guest speaker presentation begins at 8:30pm followed by Q&A and tours of the facility. Reservations required for groups of 10 or more.
Young Astronomer's Programs, hands-on activities for ages 7-13 the second Sat. of May through Oct. 6:30-8pm. Advance reservations recommended, space is limited.
Robert A. Schommer Observatory
On the roof of the Serin Physics Laboratories, 136 Frelinghuysen & Allison Rds. (park in lot 53 or 53A), Busch Campus of Rutgers, Piscataway, 848-445-8973 or 848-445-8785. Open to the public for two hours on the second and fourth Thurs., weather permitting, starting at 8:30pm Oct.-March and one hour after sunset April-Sept.
Jun 25, Jul 9, 23, Aug 13, 27, Sep 10, 24
John W. H. Simpson Observatory
Washington Crossing State Park (enter off of Bear Tavern Rd.), Titusville, 609-737-2575. The Amateur Astronomers Association of Princeton opens its observatory to the public every Friday April-Oct. from twilight to 11pm, if weather is clear.
Union County College, 1033 Springfield Ave., Cranford, 908-276-STAR. Monthly meetings of Amateur Astronomers, Inc. are held on third Fri. of the month from Sept.-May. Informal presentations are held on most other Fri. and observatory is open 7:30-10:30pm, weather permitting. Presentations for youth groups can be arranged in advance. All meetings are free and open to the public. Membership is open to anyone 12 years or older.
What's Up: A Down to Earth Sky Guide, celestial happenings for the month are normally presented at the first Fri. meeting. 8:30pm.
Astronomy news, photos and videos compiled from space agencies, science journals and university research groups.