Starry Nights

Starry Nights happens on every clear Friday night!  Watch our Twitter feed for announcements each week on to see if the weather is good enough for an event.

Safety reminders and House Rules for those entering the Observatory:

  • Masks are recommended.
  • 5-10 people are allowed inside the observatory at at a time while the door and slit are open.

Our evening star parties are free and open to the public. Any equipment or knowledge of astronomy are not necessary.

At our evening star parties our volunteers will help discover the many wondrous celestial objects that can be seen by the naked eye including; our cratered Moon, distant stars of beautiful colours, constellations that tell of ancient lore, and planets in our solar system that hold important lessons for life on Earth, and elsewhere in the cosmos.

If you have your own binoculars or a telescope, bring it with you. We’ll help you learn about your equipment and show you around the night sky. If you’re an experienced astronomer, share your knowledge and passion for astronomy with budding astronomers.

*The Trottier Observatory was built with accessibility in mind. No stairs are required to enter, and the eyepiece is situated to allow availability to wheelchair users

Observatory House Rules

  • Admittance to the observatory is free to the general public (children are welcome). 5-10 people are allowed to enter at any time when the door and slit are open. Masks are recommended, but no longer required.
  • We make no guarantee that everyone who comes to Starry Nights will get inside the observatory. We ask for your patience and understanding as we make every effort to accommodate as many people as we can.  Our staffers will assist in managing the line up outside the observatory entrance.  We ask for everyone's cooperation in complying with all safety protocols.
  • Once you have looked through the telescope, please make your way back outside so that another guest can have a turn.  Our staffers will be disinfecting the telescope eyepiece before and after each visitor's use. If you intend to go back in again, please have yourself stamped upon entry (as proof that your vaccine card has been checked) and line up again at the entrance.
  • Food, drink and flash photography are not permitted inside the observatory.
  • SFU is not responsible for the supervision of children at public events. Children should be accompanied by an adult at all times. However, because only ONE member of the public is allowed inside at one time, unfortunately children will have to go in alone. But the parents can watch their child from the door.
  • Please do not touch the telescope - despite its size, it is a sensitive piece of equipment!

Starry Night Etiquette

  • Our operation is run by dedicated volunteers who give generously of their time: they include SFU students, staff, faculty, and amateur astronomers from the Vancouver Centre of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. We ask for your cooperation as all our volunteers comply with safety protocols.
  • Feel free to use the portable telescopes set up outside the observatory but please remember that these telescopes are the personal property of our volunteers, whose safety precautions and usage are their own responsibility.
  • These events may be photographed and/or video recorded by Simon Fraser University for archival, educational, and related promotional purposes. By attending or participating in these events, you are giving your consent to be photographed and/or video recorded. If you do not wish to be photographed and/or video recorded, please let us know and move to the side prior to the shoot