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United Astronomy Clubs of New Jersey (UACNJ) - Hope, NJ

Members of the public checking out the Barker Observatory before dark. – Matt Heiss

United Astronomy Clubs of New Jersey (UACNJ) is a consortium of amateur clubs from the tri-state region. Our mission is to promote the sharing of resources and information among these clubs, to operate the Jenny Jump Observatory and Education Center, and to promote activities, education, and public awareness in astronomy and related fields.

Free lectures and observing are open to the public every Saturday evening from April through October at the dark sky site in Jenny Jump State Forest. The schedule and other information can be found at http://uacnj.org.Special programs for Scout groups, schools, etc. can be arranged by contacting [email protected].

UACNJ operates several telescopes at our site, including a 16-inch Newtonian telescope in the Greenwood Observatory, a 16-inch Meade in the Buinis observatory, an eight-inch solar telescope in the Barker Observatory, and a seven-inch Astro-Physics refractor in the Kevin Brady Observatory. Two additional observatories are operated by Member Clubs and are often open on public nights. Enjoy the spectacular views of the sky!

A local architect is currently designing a 16 x 16 foot observatory to house the 25-inch Midkiff telescope. Work on this new observatory will commence this spring.

A joint project with the Center for Solar Terrestrial Research of New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) is underway to install a solar radio telescope and a 48-inch ITEK telescope that will be used for gravity wave research as well as public night observing when available.

Accessibility Notes

The lecture room is at ground level through a doorway. A step-stool may be in use at the telescopes depending on object viewed.

Appropriate Ages

Check topic to see if it is of interest to younger folk, observing available to all.

Dates and Times

Public programs are held every Saturday evening from April through October, rain or shine. An astronomy-themed talk is presented in our indoor lecture area starting at 8:00 PM. Following the talk (weather permitting), the public is invited to observe the sky through our telescopes until closing time (10:30 PM).

SPECIAL EVENT: August 24, 3:00 PM - Midnight Annual Family Astronomy Field Day Pack your picnic basket, grab a blanket, and bring the whole family to New Jersey's premier site for public astronomy - the UACNJ observatories and lecture hall in Jenny Jump State Forest, Hope, NJ. There will be numerous events throughout the day followed by observing with our telescopes after dark (weather permitting). See http://uacnj.org/fieldday.php for updates

How to Participate

Saturday evening lectures and astronomical observing are available to everyone free of charge; donations are always welcome. Weather permitting, you may observe the moon, planets, galaxies, star clusters, or other objects from our telescopes. If you have your own telescope or binoculars, you are invited to set up on our lawn.

To become further involved, first join one of our Member Clubs and then apply to become an Observer at UACNJ. Observer status allows unlimited access to the facilities and requires a commitment to help on at least three public nights per year. Write to [email protected] for more information