Public Observing Nights at James C. Veen Observatory, presented by the Grand Rapids Amateur Astronomical Association (GRAAA) and Grand Rapids Public Museum (GRPM), begin for the 2019 season on Saturday, April 27, 2019. Public Observing Nights will continue on selected Saturday evenings twice monthly through October.
The Veen Observatory houses three large permanently mounted telescopes that allow visitors an up-close look at the night sky. The public is invited to Public Observing Nights throughout the summer to access these telescopes as well as addition instruments personally owned by GRAAA members.
Visitors to the facility will have the opportunity to take part in an audio-visual presentation introducing the facility and orientations to prominent constellations currently visible. Public Observing Night dates can be found online along with photos at graaa.org.
Scheduled Public Observing Nights are cancelled in the event of cloudiness. Status updates are posted at graaa.org no later than 6:30 p.m. on the date of each scheduled event, or can be found by calling 616.897.7065.
Admission is $3 for adults and $2 for those under 18. Grand Rapids Public Museum and GRAAA members, as well as children under age 5, are free. Cash, checks and some credit cards are accepted.
The James C. Veen Observatory is located at 3308 Kissing Rock Ave. in Lowell Township, and is open during Public Observing Nights or by appointment only. For additional inquiries, please visit graaa.org. Please note, to access Veen Observatory, there is a quarter mile uphill walk from the parking area that may be difficult for some. Parking attendants can provide information about available assistance.
The Grand Rapids Public Museum provides ongoing support to the Grand Rapids Amateur Astronomical Association in operation of James C. Veen Observatory.
Grand Rapids Public Museum
The Grand Rapids Public Museum is an invaluable, publicly-owned institution that is home to more than 250,000 unique artifacts that tell the history of Kent County and beyond, houses the only planetarium in the region, and is responsible for protecting The Mounds, a national historic landmark. The Grand Rapids Public Museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, with its main location in downtown Grand Rapids, MI at 272 Pearl Street, NW. For additional information including hours of operation, admission fees and exhibit/event listings, please visitwww.grpm.org.