By: Amanda Hart
Hey Houston! Did you know that we have an amazing observatory nestled conveniently an hour outside of Houston? The Houston Museum of Natural Science picked Brazos Bend State Park as their location for building one hell of an observatory. I went for the first time this past Saturday and was in awe of just how amazing the stars are and how Houston has so much to offer us as a community.
The George Observatory is home to three domed telescopes – 36”, 18” and 14” in size – and are available to the public on a weekly basis. The 36” Gueymard Research Telescope is one of the largest public telescopes in the country. Along with these massive telescopes you can pay $5 and view the night sky from one of the many other personal telescopes also available to the public. I took the $5 route and got to see a globular cluster while I was there.
International Observe the Moon Night is being held on Saturday, September 22nd. People all across the world will be gathering together on this night to view the moon’s craters, ridges and other prominent features up close. George Observatory is the perfect place to take your family for this event.
Also, on Dember 14th of this year you can catch one of the best meteor showers of the year. The Geminid Metero Shower has an average of 100 meteors per hour and can all be viewed from one of the many telescopes available at George Observatory. On this night the observatory will be open till 1 a.m. so be sure to make it out.
Throughout the year one can view a variety of things the night sky has to offer. According to the observatory website everything from, “Saturn’s rings, cloud belts of Jupiter, a partial or total eclipse on the Moon, a bright meteor or fireball that lights up the ground, the Milky Way, or a close pairing of two planets.”
The George Observatory is open Saturdays year round. The current Fall hours are Saturdays from 3 to 10:30 p.m. I would suggest this as the perfect location to get away from the city for a night.