Foothill College Observatory
Our Foothill College Observatory offers weekly public programs that allow the public to view the wonders of the universe.
The observatory houses a 16-inch computer-controlled Schmidt-Cassegrain reflector and a hydrogen-alpha solar telescope.
Programming is possible through our community partnership with the Peninsula Astronomical Society (PAS),
PAS Programs at the Observatory
Programs are free of charge to visitors of all ages. The observatory is closed when it is cloudy.
NOTE: COVID-19 precautions are encouraged by wearing a face mask while inside the observatory. Masks will be provided.
Friday Evening Public Viewing: 9 – 11 p.m.
Every clear Friday. The choice of targets for any evening's viewing depends on the season and what objects are currently in the sky.
Saturday Solar Viewing: 10 a.m. – Noon
Every clear Saturday. See spectacular views of two different layers of the sun through white-light and hydrogen-alpha 0.6 Angstrom filters.
Special Public Viewings of Astronomical Events
Scheduled viewing programs. These viewings are scheduled during events of particular astronomical interest, such as eclipses, bright comets, supernovae, etc.
Skies May be Cloudy or Sunny
How can you tell if the sky above the observatory will be cloudy or clear when you plan to attend a viewing? Consult the Foothill Observatory Clear Sky Chart.
How to Read the Chart
- Click to see larger view of the chart
- This will take you to the chart legend page where you can learn how to interpret the chart and view full maps of the forecasted weather conditions.
- Or, go to the PAS webcam site to find out if the observatory is open and what the weather is like.
Travel Highway 280 to the El Monte Road exit. The observatory is located adjacent to Parking Lot 4 and the Krause Center for Innovation (Bldg. 4000) on the campus of Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. (see map)
Parking at Foothill College is free Winter quarter, 2023.
For more information about the observatory and its programs, call the observatory hot-line at (650) 949-7334.