Public telescope shows
The Department of Astronomy offers the public the opportunity to visit the observatory during the winter months to look through the AlbaNova telescope.
The AlbaNova telescope has a mirror diameter of one meter and is thus Sweden's largest optical telescope in use. A public evening show lasts about 1.5 hours and includes an exciting astronomy lecture as well as a visit to the dome to look at and through the telescope. The audience gets the chance to see some astronomical object, e.g. the moon or one of the planets, led by one of the department's astronomers. The presentations are given at a basic level that suits a wide audience. To see showtimes and buy tickets, please see schedule and bookings.
Unfortunately, astronomical observations can be sensitive to clouds, rain, snow, wind, etc. In the event of bad weather, the viewing and lecture still take place as planned, but then only a viewing of the telescope with the dome closed is given, to protect the fragile instruments.
We offer a number of public shows entirely in English. These are marked in the schedule with the text "På engelska / In English". We recommend basic knowledge of English for these shows. Apart from the linguistic difference, the presentations in English are at the same basic level as those in Swedish. We recommend that visiting children have reached school age to appreciate the tours.
There is a great demand for our public telescope shows and the tickets can sell out quickly. We give as many shows as we can.
Schedule and ticket booking
Here you will find the schedule for the public shows that are planned in the near future, as well as information about ticket booking. During the summer, regular telescopic demonstrations are never arranged.
Information about the autumn public telescope shows will come at the beginning of the autumn.
The visiting address of AlbaNova University Center is Roslagstullsbacken 21 in Stockholm.
The number of visitors is limited to 30 people per show. Tickets must be purchased in advance and this is done through the ticket distributor Tickster. When sales for a show open, tickets are purchased directly in their system, via links published in the list of dates below. This requires that you have access to a credit card. A ticket costs SEK 40 for adults and SEK 20 for children (under 18 years).
When the purchase is completed, an electronic ticket (pdf file) will be sent to you by e-mail. In the file you will find your booking number (below the barcode). You do not have to print the e-ticket, but please note the booking number.
Ticket sales open about two weeks before each telescope show. Exact time will be posted before then. Stay tuned here for the latest news! When the sale is open, you can buy tickets by following the direct links published below. Please note that tickets often sell out within 1-2 minutes of release.
Schedule for the fall of 2022
There are no tickets to buy yet.
Some telescope shows are specifically designed for groups, e.g. school classes, of a maximum of 30 people. These shows are highlighted in the schedule above. A group ticket costs SEK 200 and is valid for 6 people. Please note that even if the ticket says "Allows entry for one person", a group ticket is always valid up of 6 people. After you have bought tickets, v.g. please inform us about the type of group that will attend (e.g. "school class year 8", "study circle in astronomy" or "interested individuals without prior knowledge of astronomy") and the visitors prior knowledge in astronomy, by sending an e-mail to visningar@astro. su.se
Public shows beyond the schedule
The telescopic shows are handled entirely by researchers and postgraduate students who help on a non-profit basis outside working hours. Due to this, we only have the ability to arrange a limited number of shows according to a specific schedule. We can therefore not accept bookings for private shows, company events or similar.
Questions and answers about telescope shows
Here you will find the answers to the most common questions we get regarding the department's telescopic shows.
Do you arrange shows during the pandemic?
No, the university is closed to the public during the pandemic. In addition, the space around the telescope is quite small, which is why it would be directly inappropriate to gather there.
Why do you not have more shows?
It is primarily about time and resources. The telescope is funded by external funders for use in research, but we still think it is both important and nice to be able to offer the public lectures and show the telescope, which is why we do our best to meet that need. See also the answer to "Can I come by spontaneously and get a telescope show?".
Do you have private shows?
No, we do not have that type of shows at the moment. The different types of tours offered are given in Swedish and English for individuals (max. six adult tickets and six children's tickets can be purchased by one and the same person), as well as group tours (one group ticket is valid for up to six people and one and the same person can buy all tickets).
Can I come by spontaneously and get a tour?
No. The department cannot conduct museum activities, since this is not our mission. In principle, all people graduates in astronomy at the department participate voluntarily and unpaid at public shows each year, but the staff is quite small, which together with other activities at the telescope (research, education and service) mean that availability is limited.
When are the tickets released?
Tickets will be released approximately two weeks before a show Please note that this is an approximate time. The exact time will be announced well in advance (at least a couple of days) before these two weeks. We urge all keen visitors to keep a regular look at our website for the latest news.
Can you buy tickets on site?
No. We use Tickster to reduce our administration and thereby be able to devote more time to the showss themselves. We also believe that it increases a fair distributin of tickets.
Why can I not call to order tickets?
We use Tickster to reduce our administrative work and thereby be able to devote more time to the showss themselves. We are convinced that an overwhelming majority of our prospective visitors has a computer and those who have not, should be able to arrange a booking via acquaintance, library computer, etc.
Can I pay in cash?
No, to reduce administration, we only accept payments by card (via Tickster).
Can I book a show two years in advance?
No. If we received pre-bookings, the system with Tickster would be more or less meaningless, which would increase our administration and thus leave less time for the show itself.
How easily accessible are the premises?
There is an elevator up to the lecture hall for the disabled, as well as to the dome. To get up to the observing floor, however, you need to go up a flight of stairs and then you must be able to go up a (wide) ladder to look in the telescope. Unfortunately, we do not have the opportunities to change this in the near future. If you have questions about the availability of the premises, please contact us at email@example.com.
What happens if it is cloudy?
The show is carried out regardless of the weather. The telescope
cannot see through clouds (thin clouds can be an exception), but you get the opportunity to look at the telescope and learn more about how we observe, as well as listen to an exciting lecture. There is also time for questions.
Which level is preferred?
The lectures do not require any special prior knowledge but are adapted to adults without science education. Of course, the level of prior knowledge may differ between different people in a group, but our speakers try to stay at a basic level. Despite this, e.g. young children perceive the lectures as difficult, but the visit to the dome is usually appreciated by everyone.
I want to bring students from my school, but we are more than 30 people. Can you bring in more?
No, for reasons of space and security, we must limit ourselves to 30 people per show.
I only have one ticket, but my aunt would like to come along. Is it okej?
No, unfortunately we have to limit the number to 30 (see question above), whether it is children or adults, single individuals or a group, and we ask our visitors to respect this.
Are the shows also suitable for younger children?
We generally recommend that visiting children have reached school age. Most visitors are usually adults and the level is therefore adapted accordingly. If the majority of people in a group is younger children and we have received prior information about this, we will try to adapt to it.
Do the tickets sell out quickly?
Yes, so far, the tickets have in most cases been sold out in a very short time. We recommend those interested to search for information on "ticket releases" by visiting our website. See question "When will the tickets be released?" above.
Are the English-language presentations difficult to understand?
It is difficult to say what is easy or difficult to understand in English presentations, as it varies from one person to another person, but our lecturers strive to be clear and we have so far not received any comments from our visitors (incl. Swedish-speaking visitors) who suggest that these talks are noticeably more difficult to understand than the Swedish-language presentations.
In the unlikely event your question has not been answered above, you can write to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note, however, that we do not accept bookings via this address.
Last updated: May 6, 2022
Source: Department of astronomy