Nicholas E. Wagman Observator
Looking for ways to continue the star-gazing fun after catching mid-August’s spectacular blue moon and Perseid meteor shower? Grab those telescopes, binoculars and camping chairs and head to Wagman Observatory to stargaze with fellow astronomy fans right in our own backyard.
Hosted by the Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh (AAAP), the special September Dark Sky Star Party begins at dusk—approximately 7:50 p.m.—and is free to the public. Located in scenic Deer Lakes Park just 15 miles from downtown Pittsburgh, the Wagman Observatory is one of the highest points in Allegheny County and provides a very dark setting for optimal night sky viewing.
Get set to see the planets of Neptune and Uranus, along with the Milky Way, Hercules Cluster, Ring Nebula and even the Andromeda Galaxy. During the event, AAAP experts will be on-hand to lead “guided tours” of the night sky, pointing out constellations and brighter stars. Visitors will also have the opportunity to view the night sky through Wagman Observatory’s powerful Brashear Refractor (handicapped accessible for most observations) and the Manka Memorial Telescope.
Have a telescope but not sure how to use it? Bring it along and a member of the AAAP will assist you, or use one provided by the organization.
Owned and operated by the AAAP, the Nicholas E. Wagman Observatory was built in 1987 and then expanded in 1995. Located at 225 Kurn Rd. in Tarentum, the Wagman Observatory is the first amateur astronomical observatory in western Pennsylvania dedicated to public education and enjoyment of the science of astronomy. With 300-plus members, the 85-year-old Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh is one of the largest astronomy clubs in the U.S. Monthly meetings are held from September through May, and are open to the public.