Mansfield and Sutton Astronomical Society holds a number of public open evenings each year during the Autumn and Winter months.
The dates for the 2021 winter season open evenings are as follows: TBC
Entrance fees are - Adults (over 16) £6, Under 16's £2 (please note that under 16's MUST be accompanied by an adult).
Gates open at 6.00pm - No advance booking.
Car parking space at the Observatory is limited. Entry to the car park will be on a first come, first served basis. Unless you have a special reason for coming early it is usually better to arrive after 9.00 p.m. when car parking often eases. Entry carries on throughout the evening so by arriving later you do not miss anything (however, please be aware that on cloudy, windy or wet nights, we may only have a few visitors and therefore close early).
We ask that you do not park on the grass verges on the main road, and vehicles must NOT be allowed to block pavement or entry access to properties. It is also strongly advised NOT to park or queue on the busy main road as emergency vehicle access MUST be maintained at all times. Please observe instructions from the car park marshals.
When you arrive, you will normally be met and given an outline of the evenings' activities.
Please be aware that due to the popularity of the event, especially on clear nights, there is a possibility that even if you arrive early before the gates open, you may have to wait some time before being admitted to the main telescope and other activities within the Observatory building. However, if this does happen, please visit our external activities first.
We do not have a specific finish time. We will continue to accept new visitors and run all our activities and displays until the last people arrive and depart . Our activities include:
- Viewing the Moon and other astronomical objects through our main telescope and a variety of smaller telescopes owned by the society or our members (weather permitting).
- An introduction to finding your way around the night sky with the naked eye and binoculars (feel free to bring your own binoculars along).
- A rolling series of astronomical themed talks in our external marquee.
- Radio astronomy section - detect incoming meteors and listen to "the sounds of space".
- Opportunities to ask questions about astronomy or about the telescopes.
- Free factsheets and/or skymaps to take away.
- Merchandise, including excellent photos of astronomical objects.
There is wheelchair access into the building and disabled toilet facilities. However, please be advised that the main telescope is accessible only by a spiral staircase.
The dome and large telescope cannot be opened up and used if the weather is wet or very windy. Even in dry conditions, it is usually cold both in the dome and outside, so warm clothing is a necessity.
Please note that MSAS is a voluntary based organisation and all advertised activities are based on the society operating with a full complement of volunteers on the night of the open event. In the unlikely event that member participation is reduced MSAS reserves the right to reduce the services offered. Poor weather conditions may also result in the event being cancelled at short notice. If this happens, the Society will make all efforts to notify visitors through social media.