Ellis Astronomical Observatory at Sterling Hill Mining Museum Sterling Hill Mining Museum and Ellis Astronomical observatory

Ellis Astronomical Observatory

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Incredible year-round, nighttime and daylight, viewing.


The Sterling Hill Astronomy Group holds monthly viewing sessions at the Ellis Astronomical Observatory on the grounds of the Sterling Hill Mining Museum. 

Located in rural Sussex County, the observatory offers excellent dark-sky viewing conditions far from major urban sources of light pollution.  Members use the observatory's massive 20-inch and 12.5-inch reflector telescopes for nighttime viewing, and a Hydrogen-Alpha telescope for safe viewing of the Sun.

If a special event occurs, such as an eclipse, additional viewing sessions will be scheduled at no additional cost.



Join us at the observatory to see:

planets, solar system, constellations, moon and the sun that you can see at the Ellis Astronomical Observatory at shmm


The Planets — see the phases of Venus, polar ice caps on Mars, colored cloud bands and moons of Jupiter, incredibly detailed rings of Saturn and its moons, the icy blue world of Uranus, and green-tinted, distant Neptune.

"Deep Sky" objects — distant galaxies (each containing literally billions of stars), nebulae (gas clouds within our Milky Way Galaxy that are the birthplace of new stars), and planetary nebulae (remnant shells of gas resulting from supernova explosions).

Star clusters — tight groupings of stars that are positioned thousands of times closer than those of our own stellar neighborhood.

Constellations — our instructors will make you an expert in learning the constellations and all of the brighter stars using special green pointing lasers.

Our moon — incredibly detailed craters and mountains.  The Moon will be viewed under special filters to reduce the brightness.  Get the feeling that you are in orbit floating above the surface!

The sun — safely view the sun with our special Hydrogen-Alpha telescope. See amazing solar flares and prominences (in red hydrogen alpha light) loop and burst above the sun's surface.


ViewingScouts visit Sterling Hill's Ellis Observatory

Scout groups and school classes — may be combined with an afternoon underground mine tour and an on-site barbeque or a separate observing session.  Call or e-mail for details and pricing. View the badges Sterling Hil has identified that scouts could earn here.

Science/ Astronomy "Parties" — for special occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries.  Get several hours of personalized viewing and instruction for your private group. Call or e-mail for details and pricing.

Special events will be announced on this website and by e-mail to our members.

For information, contact:    
Bill Kroth at (201) 933- 3029
E-mail: shastrogroup@aol.com
          - or -
Gordon Powers at (973) 209- 0710
E-mail: powers931@earthlink.net

Observation of Venus passing in front of the sun.

Using a high powered telescope a young, keen observor joins Gordon Powers, Jolie Neuschatz and Bill Kroth to watch the transit of Venus in front of the sun.


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