Open Observatory Every Wednesday Night

View our calendar for a complete list of events and times.
Sign-up here for group reservations.

Stars come in all shapes and sizes: Big powerful blue stars, small yet feisty red stars, strange pulsating yellow stars, and more. How do we know so much about stars? Dr. Alexandra Yep returns to the observatory to help us learn all about stars and the tools astronomers use to understand them. Alex’s talk is designed for a general audience.

Visit the Martz-Kohl Observatory Online Store!

click image for store webpage

The Martz-Kohl Observatory has partnered with Falconer Printing to provide merchandise with our logo.  Purchases can be shipped or picked-up locally. Some non-apparel items are for sale at the observatory. A portion of all proceeds is donated to the observatory.

Aurora of May 10, 2024

The sun has a 22-year cycle where approximately every 11 years, the Sun’s magnetic field flips and its activity waxes and wanes. We are currently in the rising phase, approaching the peak of activity which is expected in July 2025. Sunspot regions have intense magnetic fields that can contort, suddenly snap, and release tremendous energy. This energy manifests as a solar flare, blasting out intense radiation and charged particles. Often accompanying a solar flare, a Coronal Mass Ejection of solar material, including plasma and energetic particles is launched into space. When a CME interacts with our planet’s magnetic field and atmosphere, it can cause a geomagnetic storm which can be manifested in an Aurora, usually near the north or south poles.

Check Out Our Lecture Series Video Library!

We currently have a video library of over 40 presentations on a variety of topics, including the James Webb Space Telescope, black holes, cosmic origins, climate change, Mars rovers, astrophotography, telescopes, and even a doctoral defense. Speakers include NASA scientists, university professors in physics and astronomy, amateur astronomers, and observatory members.

Total Solar Eclipse of April 8, 2024

Library Telescope Loan Program

The Martz-Kohl Observatory participates in the Library Telescope Program which places telescopes in local public libraries, allowing general access to portable telescopes that can be put into circulation just like a book. The goals of the program are to help foster scientific literacy, to stimulate interest in astronomy, enable people who have never looked through a telescope the chance to experience the excitement that comes from discovery, and to provide a valuable asset for libraries.

Telescopes and accessories include an Orion Starblast 4.5″ telescope with zoom eyepiece, red flashlight, planisphere (night sky map), observers guide, moon map, and manuals. The telescopes are easy to use, robust, and are modified to make them more durable and patron friendly. MMMAA members have provided hands-on training for library staff to ensure they are comfortable with the telescope and are able to answer basic patron questions. Reminder: NEVER look at the sun with a telescope unless you have a special solar filter and have had instruction on its use.

Currently, telescopes are available at Kennedy Free Library, Falconer Public Library, Randolph Library, Myers Memorial Library in Frewsburg, and the Warren Public Library.

Space STEM Camp 2024 Registration is Closed

Martz-Kohl Observatory in partnership with Falconer Central School (home of the Golden Falcons) is holding a week-long Space STEM Camp for Chautauqua County rising students in grades 7-9 on July 15-19, 2024. Students will have a fun summer experience that is also academic. They will build new friendships and be amazed and inspired!

The camp is provided at a very low cost, with only a $50 registration fee. It is primarily funded through local grants and supported by volunteers from the school and observatory. This second annual Space Camp is made possible with contributions of time and money from the Shults Auto Group, Wegmans, educators at Falconer Central School and members of Martz-Kohl Observatory.

Visitors Welcome!

The Martz-Kohl Observatory is happy to host groups, large or small! Scouts, school classes, civic organizations, clubs, and groups of family and friends are invited to experience the wonders of the night sky. Our mission is to inform, educate and inspire the general public and support teaching in the sciences of astronomy and physics. Groups can use our contact form to obtain more information. Use our event calendar to learn about lectures by educators, scientists, astronomy & space professionals, as well as observatory members — which are open to the public.

View more images in our galleries.

Check out the astronomy photo of the day.

 

The Martz-Kohl Observatory is run by the Marshal Martz Memorial Astronomical Association Inc. a not-for-profit voluntary group of people interested in astronomy. The observatory is located in Frewsburg, New York in Chautauqua County, not far from Jamestown and Chautauqua Lake.