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Family Night at Dyer Observatory

Vanderbilt faculty, staff and their families are invited to a special night at Vanderbilt Dyer Observatory on Tuesday, October 23, from 7-9 pm.

Everyone attending must be individually registered. Register online!

Learn about Chancellor Garland's love of physics and astronomy and get to know the University's first astronomer, Edward Emerson Barnard. Bring your curiosity and discover the latest astronomical happenings. Astronomers will be on hand to answer a universe of questions. See the most massive telescope in Tennessee and actually hold a meteorite!

If the weather cooperates, we should have a great night for observing. We will start our observing night with the moon and get an up-close view of some of its thousands of craters. Next, we will move farther out in our solar system and view the last planets of our local neighborhood, the ice giants Uranus and Neptune. If there is enough time and the viewing is great, then we will also visit some "faint fuzzies." Possible targets for the Seyfert Telescope include:

  • the Double-Double - a star system of at least five stars in the constellation Lyra that are caught in a gravitational dance with one another
  • the Ring Nebula - the remains of dead star in the constellation Lyra that was once like our Sun
  • the Globular Cluster M15 - a 12 billion year-old cluster of about 100,000 stars near the nose of Pegasus
  • the Andromeda Galaxy - a neighboring spiral galaxy that is on a collision course with our own Milky Way galaxy

We may be able to observe satellites as they pass overhead. Keep your fingers crossed for clear skies!

The event runs from 7-9 pm, rain or shine. While there is no formal program, the Seyfert Telescope will be available for viewing, weather permitting. The Seyfert Telescope is located on the 2nd floor of the observatory. Note that there are 20 steps leading to the 2nd floor.

Event Details:

  • Everyone attending must be individually registered. Register online!
  • When you arrive, give your name to the attendant at the entrance gate and you will receive parking instructions.
  • For safety sake, please do not wear flip flops; closed-toe shoes are preferred.
  • For additional information, including directions, please visit