Friday night Star Parties are held at the Campus Observatory on the roof of Brookens Library on Friday nights in September and October. The dates for Friday night star parties in 2023 are September 8, 15, 22 29 and October 6, 13, 20, and 27.
How do I pre-register for Star Parties?
Star Parties are free and open for everyone. But pre-registration is encouraged for events at the Campus Observatory. When you pre-register your spot is reserved -and- we will communicate with you directly about the weather and if there is a cancellation.
To pre-register for one of the remaining star parties:
Walk-ups will be able to register at the door when there is space to accommodate them.
For general questions about Friday Night Star Parties call 217-206-8342.
Or check out Twitter feed @UISObservatory.
What do you do if it is cloudy?
We need clear skies to show you the stars at Star Party. People who are registered in advance for Star Parties will be notified if there is a change in plans because of the weather. We will try our best to give notice of a change no latter than 7 p.m.
There will also be a phone message at the number 217-206-8342 after 7:00 PM on the night of the Star Party.
Or you can get information from the observatory Twitter/X feed -or- Dr. Martin's Instagram.
Is there elevator access to the Campus Observatory for a Friday Night Star Parties?
For in person Star Parties at the campus observatory: No, not during a Friday Night Star Party. Visitors to a Friday Night Star Party must be able to climb up and down four flights of stairs AND climb a short 5 ft ladder up to the main telescope dome. If you or a loved one that wants to attend a Star Party has trouble with stairs or ladders you should call 217-206-8342 and ask about our Sunday Night Star Parties for people with disabilities. Those Star Parties are fully accessible and require no stair or ladder climbing.
Are regular Friday Star Parties accessible?
If you are interested and you want to attend an accessible Star Party sometime in the future you are encouraged to express your interest. Please contact John Martin (217-206-8342) about Sunday Night accessible Star Parties.
Where is the UIS Campus Observatory?
The Campus observatory is on the roof of Brookens Library. The entry to the observatory is on the southeast corner of the building. If you are at the front of the building facing the UIS fountain, put your left hand on the building and walk about one third of the way around it to a door clearly marked “Observatory” which will be open for the event. The observatory is through that door and up five flights of stairs to the roof. Brookens Library is building #1 on the campus map. The door for the observatory is on the southeast corner (lower right on the map) of the building. We suggest parking in Lot B or Lot C.