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Free star parties, solar and star gazing, observatories for astronomy lovers Abq

A perfect night sky, where you can see all the stars.
A perfect night sky, where you can see all the stars.
Jason Jenkins,

There's something special about viewing celestial bodies up-close through a telescope that photos can't quite capture. If you love gazing at the night sky, observing our moon, the stars, planets, galaxies, constellations and more, then you'll want to participate in these free astronomical activities.

If you like to get outside to watch the night sky, you'll like the various ongoing events of The Albuquerque Astronomical Society (TAAS). You can listen to a talk about the stars, attend a telescope-making class the first and third Wednesday of the month, observe the moon or safely observe the sun in Santa Fe. See their calender for a list of dates, times and changing events. One of their coolest events are their ongoing Star Parties where you can up-close real views of the cosmos. Participants get to meet astronomers and be guided to look through provided telescopes to view what's visible in the night sky that evening, ranging from the moon, planets, our Milky Way galaxy and other outer-space phenomena. Stay tuned to their facebook page for the latest information, including school star parties during the school year. Additionally, if you live closer to Rio Rancho, check out their page for similar events occurring in that area.

For those who prefer to observe the wonders of the universe with a highly sophisticated instrument, there is the weekly observations at the UNM Observatory. These take place Friday nights during the Fall and Spring semesters with the exception of Fall or Spring break. TAAS members will be there to answer any questions and help participants observe through the Meade 14" telescope as well any member telescopes they bring along. The observatory is located in the M Lot of UNM. If they are open for the night, the doors to the courtyard will be open which you can enter through to get to the dome and the dome lights will be red. However, due to weather or other reasons, it might be closed for the night. You can also check their website before heading over to make sure it is indeed open. Open to both UNM students and the public.

Although The Planetarium at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science in Albuquerque is excellent, it isn't free so it's not included in this list. However, see here how you can visit the Space Science Center also located at the NM Museum of Natural History for free.