Welcome to the AAAP Observatory 2017 season information page.
The Simpson Observatory is located in Washington Crossing State Park, [on the NJ side] several miles south of Pennington, NJ. The observatory is a slide-roof design, allowing for optimal viewing of the sky in any direction.
CLICK HERE for directions to the Observatory.
Do NOT use your mobile GPS to find us. You WILL get lost.
Click here for park map, including observatory location (pdf).
The observatory will open ONLY if the twilight sky is clear (go outside and check first).
*** Check our TWITTER PAGE for up-to-the-minute opening updates ***
Enter Washington Crossing State Park (NJ side) off of Bear Tavern Road. DO NOT attempt entry to the park at the main gate (Washington Crossing Pennington Rd).
After entering the park, continue driving into the park, past the restriction signage (you will head toward the Nature Center in the park).
Need help? Call the Observatory at 609.737.2575.
Phone is answered live only on Friday evenings and only if the Observatory is open.
Completed in 1978, the facility currently houses a 6.25", f/15 vintage Hastings-Byrne achromatic refractor, and a research-grade Celestron 14", f/11 Schmidt-Cassegrain reflector. The reflector is mounted on a state-of-the-art Bisque Paramount ME.
The Bisque Paramount ME is a completely automated control system, utilizing data input from an operator in the small computer control room adjacent to the telescope. The mount runs with Software Bisque's "The Sky 6.0" The Hastings-Byrne refractor mount was upgraded some years ago to a Losmandy G-11.
The public is invited to visit the AAAP observatory, every Friday night, if the twilight sky is clear. Come visit this Spring and Summer! Travel thousands (or millions!) of light-years through the eyepiece of one of our professional-grade telescopes. AAAP members will answer your astronomy questions and help guide you across the constellations.
The observatory is open at all times to AAAP observatory keyholders. Keyholders are active members of six months or longer who undergo a training period with the observatory telescopes, software and building operation. Skills are then certified.
Any club member is welcome to ask a keyholder for access to the observatory.
For additional information, email email@example.com