The University of Chicago

373 W. Geneva St, Williams Bay WI 53191 (Latitude 42 34.2, Longitude -88 33.4)
Orion over Yerkes Observatory. Picture taken by Vivian Hoette

Yerkes Public Star Party

Date: Saturday, March 8
Time: 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Place: Yerkes Observatory
Fee: $5.- per person
  $15.- per family

As the seasons change, so do whichever planets, stars, and constellations happen to be visible. Yerkes Observatory, at 373 W. Geneva Street, Williams Bay, Wisconsin, hosts monthly star parties featuring both indoor and outdoor activities intended for school age children accompanied by a parent or teacher. The next event will be held Saturday, March 8, 2014, from 6 to 8 p.m.

The program will include a guide to winter constellations and, weather permitting, opportunities to observe, both with the unaided eye and through telescopes. Indoor activities include tours of the Observatory, presentations in the library, and other family activities.

As it grows dark, the nearly First Quarter Moon and brilliant planet Jupiter dominate the southern sky, the latter looking to the unaided eye like a brilliant star. The very bright constellation Orion hangs nearby, close to Sirius, the brightest nighttime star. Telescope targets will include: the Moon and its craters; Jupiter and its moons; and the Great Nebula in Orion.

The program will also include two opportunities to take an indoor Yerkes Observatory tour featuring a look at, but not through, the 40-inch Great Refractor inside the unheated 90-foot diameter dome. The Gift Shop will be open. We offer for sale many Yerkes Observatory souvenirs, including: sweatshirts; t-shirts; books; star finders; postcards; posters; authentic meteorites from outer space; snacks; DVDís; and, many other items of interest.

Even if skies are cloudy, astronomers and educators will be on hand to help participants observe the night sky and do indoor activities.

The fee is $5 per person or $15 per family.

Throughout the year, Yerkes Observatory is open for free public tours on Saturdays, as well as providing weekday tours and programs. For information, go to the Yerkes Observatory website at

  1. Yerkes Public Star Party - Registration
    1. Please enter your name
    2. Please enter your email addressPlease enter a valid email address
    3. A value is required.Invalid format.
    4. Please enter the total number of people attending

    5. Dates:   (Please check all the dates that you're planning to attend)
      Please select at least one date you are planning to attend

        Saturday, March 8, 2014 - 6:00pm - 8:00pm

    6. Photo permission:
      I give Yerkes Observatory permission to take pictures of my family for educational purposes at the Yerkes Public Star Party