Stargazing at Its Finest
Summer nights mean starry skies. While drinking in the twinkle of twilight or catching a flick beneath moon beams are all well and good in our book, sometimes, the best moments are spent simply looking up. For a night of celestial wonderment, Night Skies at the Joel N. Bloom Observatory at The Franklin Institute (222 North 20th St.) is an obvious choice. The event (this month June 8 and 22), led by Chief Astronomer Derrick Pitts, affords stargazers the chance to view planets and nebulae through high-end, ultra-powerful telescopes. The experience is educational, too, offering customizable options like planetarium shows, astronomy activities and live presentations. If you’re looking merely to relish in the beauty of the night sky, Ben’s Starlight Lounge on the rooftop observation deck has a cash bar and a lovely view of the constellations.
Franklin Institute also features the immersive Planetarium. So when Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate, you can still take in the sights of our galaxy. The expansive, domed theater shows how the night sky would appear without the effects of weather, pollution and city lights. It’s quite a spectacle!
Another hot spot for space exploration in Philadelphia is the Joseph R. Lynch Observatory at Drexel University (3141 Chestnut St.), which regularly hosts public observation nights during which visitors can view the heavens through the city’s largest telescope. Plus, the campus offers a solar telescope that allows space enthusiasts a peek during daylight hours.