Public Observing and Programs

The Lima Astronomical Society opens historic Schoonover Observatory for public observing monthly on the Friday closest to the New Moon, with alternate dates scheduled as necessary due to weather. Check our Event Calendar for scheduled observing dates, and our Facebook page for the most up-to-date status on closures and reschedules.

Prior to observing, the Society hosts a monthly program about astronomy or related topics, presented by Society members or guest speakers. Over the years we have had some amazing programs and speakers, and you’ll find our regular members frequently show up for these programs as they can be quite interesting.

Visitors are welcome to bring their own telescopes to observe with us, or to obtain some advice or training on their equipment from experienced members.

Join us for discussions about astronomy and space, catch a presentation, learn about the constellations, and observe through the primary telescope in the observatory dome. We welcome people of all ages a chance to see a close-up view of the beauty of the night sky. Weather permitting, we regularly view the planets, nebulae, star clusters, and galaxies.

We recommend dressing appropriately for the weather at the time of your visit, as the dome is not climate-controlled. Please note, our primary telescope is on the second floor, and climbing a flight of stairs will be necessary.

Summer Viewing Program

Running June – September each year, our well-received Summer Viewing Program provides additional opportunities for public observing. As many objects are not visible until the ample darkness has set in, these observing opportunities are typically scheduled later in the evening due to the late sunset during the warmer months. Keep the later hours in mind if you expect younger children to be in attendance.