What is the best time of the year to observe the night sky?
Every night of the year presents an exquisite collection of objects to see. Each sky tour is also uniquely different and includes at least one or more galaxy, open star cluster, globular star cluster, multiple star system, planetary nebula and defused nebula. Generally there is at least one planet in the sky to view. Our closest neighbor, the moon, at different magnifications can be the most spectacular site of them all. Space is truely a very dynamic place. Comets and supernovas are routinely discovered, partial and total lunar eclipses occur, meteors and satellites are spotted nightly, stars vary their brightness, and occultations and transits are commonplace. The best time is anytime. There is always an abundance of objects in the sky to see.

How are we able to use the observatory?
The use of the observatory is only during the guided sky tour, which normally lasts around one hour. The telescopes are controlled by your guide person at all times. We welcome guests with their own telescopes to bring them. We have several concrete observing pads outside the observatory for you to use your own telescopes all night if you wish.

How should we dress for our stay at Observer's Inn?
The dress in Julian is very casual. The weather however can vary a great deal in a short amount of time. Julian is at an elevation of about 4300 feet and can reach daytime temperatures in the summer of over 100 degrees and nighttime temperature in the winter of the low 20 degrees, not including the wind chill. The rule to go by is to always bring plenty of warm clothes, gloves, hats, etc.. You can take off the extra clothes should it be warm enough. A warming room in the observatory is provided for those who need the extra warmth.

If the sky tour is clouded out, what is your policy?
Please keep in mind that weather forecasts are often wrong, especially when they are long range. Bookings of two nights in a row are rarely unobservable. Being close to the desert we are influenced greatly by its clear, dry climate and have our own unique microclimate. Should the sky tour be clouded out,an astronomy lecture or rain-check will be given (for the sky tour only). Clear weather is not under our control and cannot be guaranteed.