Community Observatory, Placerville, CA

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When You Arrive
How to Dress
Observatory Etiquette
Objects to View in the Sky

Preparing for your visit to the Observatory

There are many things you can do to prepare for your visit to the Community Observatory that will make your visit even more enjoyable. Dressing appropriately for the weather conditions is the most important.  A new weather station at the Community Observistory is now on-line!  To see up-to-the minute weather conditions, visit our weather station webpage.

If you have binoculars, bring them along. They are great for looking at the Moon and can be used to find several other deep sky objects such as galaxies. Binoculars are also good for looking at comets. If you have a small telescope, you may bring it to the Observatory. There is room outside the building for you to set it up. If you have a larger, heavy telescope, be aware that there is an uphill hike of about 500 feet to the Observatory from the parking lot. There is no road access for the general public to the Observatory and heavy objects will be difficult to carry. Consider a small wagon or garden cart to help you get your telescope from your car to the Observatory.

If you have star charts and astronomy books, bring some of them along too. While the Observatory has a good reference library, you will have a good opportunity to learn how to use your own materials if you bring them along.  You can print a sky chart at:

Please feel free to bring bottled water.  Other beverages and snacks are not encouraged.  Keep in mind that this is school property and no alcoholic beverages are ever allowed!

On Public Evenings (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights), there is no fee for parking.  On other nights (Monday through Thursday) normal parking regulations (and fees) apply.  The Observatory is fully accessible to our disabled visitors.  There is parking right at the Observatory for the disabled.  For disabled access on Public Evenings, please call (530) 344-5707 during operating hours on the night of your intended visit. 

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