The aluminum-domed Crosby Observatory atop Orlando Science Center houses Florida's largest publicly accessible refractor telescope. This one-of-a-kind custom-built telescope, along with several smaller scopes, are available at selected times for solar and night sky viewing.

Peer through the powerful, 10-inch lens of the refractor telescope to view the planets, the four moons of Jupiter, the rings of Saturn and deep sky objects such as galaxies, nebulas and double stars.

All activities and events in the Crosby Observatory
are weather permitting only.

 

SkyWatch

November 7 - February 28
Fridays & Saturdays, 5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Join our astronomers in the Crosby Observatory for a night full of wonder. Enjoy views of the celestial objects while you take in the glittering Orlando skyline. Peer through the powerful, 10-inch lens of the refractor telescope to view the planets like Jupiter, Mars and Venus and deep sky objects such as galaxies, nebulas and more. This activity is weather-permitting.

 

SunWatch

October 4, 2014 - May 2, 2015
First Saturday of every month, 3:00 - 5:00 p.m.

Safely gaze upon the closest star to our home planet - the Sun. Our astronomers take aim at the sun to reveal the secrets hidden behind its glare. Take a peek at the Sun’s surface to see what kind of day the sun is having. Sometimes the surface is placid and serene but more often than not, it is boiling with sunspots and solar flares.

 

Science Night Live

Seasonal Event: Please Check Events Calendar

An “adult swim” of the science variety, the event features everything great about the Science Center. Experience all four floors of exhibits, films and hands-on programming aimed specifically for grown-ups, while enjoying adult food and beverages available for purchase. Must be 21 and older.

 

Measuring and evaluating the brightness of stars can be traced back to the Greek astronomer and mathematician Hipparchus during 190 - 120 BC. He is responsible for producing a catalogue of comparative brightness and positioning of over 850 stars. Hipparchus formed the apparent magnitude scale to determine the brightness of a star as seen by an observer from earth.

How does this scale work? The brighter the celestial object appears, the lower the value of its magnitude. For instance, the faintest objects you can see using the naked eye are indicated with a magnitude of 6, while the Sun on the apparent magnitude scale is –26.74. However, most of the stars we gaze at in an urban neighborhood with our eyes are usually somewhere around 3 to 4 and if using binoculars, the limit is 10. More recently, through the use of the powerful Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers have located stars with magnitudes of 30+. It is this basic classification from over 2,000 years ago that led to the magnitude scale that we still use today!


Bookmark and Share

Discovered in 1986 by Australian astronomer Malcolm Hartley, comet 103P or Hartley 2 is set for the closest encounter with earth in 24 years. This “dirty snowball” that is comprised of rock, dust, ice and frozen gases was visible in the constellation of Auriga as a fuzzy, green blur to Northern Hemisphere observers during Mid-October.

Through November, Southern Hemisphere stargazers can catch a glimpse of the comet as it travels away from earth, using the naked eye, binoculars and of course, a telescope. This year, Hartley 2 made its closest pass at a mere 11 million miles on October 20th and is calculated to orbit the Sun every 6 ½ years. EPOXI, or Extrasolar Planet Observation and Deep Impact Extended Investigation is a spacecraft that is due to make a flyby of Hartley 2 from only 600 miles away on November 4th. The mission plans to gather information on the comet’s surface and craters, as well as close-up images of dust and gas plumes.

Check back on our web site for "post fly by" information and updates!


Bookmark and Share

777 E. Princeton Street • Orlando, Florida 32803 • Phone: 407.514.2000 • TTY: 407.514.2005 • Toll Free: 888.OSC.4FUN • Email: gservices@osc.org
  Orlando Science Center is supported by United Arts of Central Florida, host of power2give.org/centralflorida and the collaborative Campaign for the Arts.
This project is funded in part by Orange County Government through the Arts & Cultural Affairs Program. Privacy Policy • Accessibility

A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION FOR ORLANDO SCIENCE CENTER, A FLORIDA-BASED NONPROFIT CORPORATION (REGISTRATION NO. CH2342), MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE 1-800-HELP-FLA (435-7352) WITHIN THE STATE OR VISITING THEIR WEBSITE. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE.