Universiteit Leiden

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Old Observatory Leiden opens its doors to the public on 29 October

On Sunday 29 October the annual open day of the Old Observatory will take place. During this day, people can visit the Old Observatory for free and enjoy the historic building.

The doors open at noon and close again at 5 pm. Visitors can participate in activities from children's workshops and planetarium shows to lectures and quizzes; there is something fun for young and old alike.

Guided tours, telescopes, Light Lab

As in previous years, it is possible to follow guided tours of the building that visit the historical telescopes during the open day. Visitors can also visit a number of the telescopes on their own. The Light Lab is present to demonstrate a number of physical effects that occur during astronomical research. Children can enjoy themselves in a set up craft room. Here they playfully become acquainted with questions that astronomers are currently working on.

Astronomy on Tap

For the first time, the open day is enriched with the presence of the Astronomy on Tap group. Just like every last Monday of the month, the members of this group will give short lectures, alternated with games. The speakers are astronomers who are currently active in modern research at the Leiden Observatory.

Radio theatre show

The father of radio maker Maartje Duin obtained his doctorate in astronomy in Leiden in 1974. At the time, the Faculty of Astronomy was still in the Old Observatory. With her radio theatre play My Father the Stargazer, Maartje Duin describes the visit she made together with her father to the Old Observatory after he started suffering from Alzheimer's disease. During the open day she will perform the play live a number of times.

Astronomical walk

At 14 o' clock Jos van den Broek will take a group of people with him on an Astronomical walk. Many places in Leiden bear memories of the scientific glory of yesteryear. In addition to the Old Observatory, which has recently been restored to all lustre, there is more, much more. This short walk takes visitors past a number of astronomical and other scientific highlights in Leiden. 

Wooden telescopes

Finally, science journalist Govert Schilling will give an exclusive, extensive tour. It will go into more detail about the history of the Observatory, but also with the modern research that is still being carried out in Leiden. From the first wooden telescopes to modern satellites: Schilling takes visitors on a journey through time! Tickets for this tour can be reserved online. There are not many places, so be quick!

The program is still growing: keep an eye on the  website and the facebookpage of the Old Observatory for the latest news!

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