The Foothill College Observatory
Operated by the Peninsula Astronomical Society (PAS), the Foothill College Observatory offers weekly public programs that allow the public to view the wonders of the universe. The observatory houses a 16-inch computer-controlled Schmidt-Cassegrain reflector and a new hydrogen-alpha solar telescope.
PAS Programs at the Foothill College Observatory
Programs are free of charge to visitors of all ages. However, please note that the observatory is closed when it is cloudy.*
  • Friday Evening Public Viewing from 9 – 11 p.m.
    Every clear Friday. The choice of targets for any evening's viewing depends on the season and what objects are currently in the sky.
  • Saturday Solar Viewing from 10 a.m. – Noon
    Every clear Saturday. See spectacular views of two different layers of the sun through both white-light and hydrogen-alpha 0.6 Angstrom filters.
  • Special Public Viewings of Astronomical Events)
    Scheduled viewing programs. These viewings are scheduled during events of particular astronomical interest, such as solar or lunar eclipses, bright comets, supernovae, etc.
*Skies May be Cloudy or Sunny
So how can you tell if the sky above the observatory will be cloudy or clear when you plan to attend a viewing?
Consult the Foothill Observatory Clear Sky Chart.
Foothill Observatory Clear Sky Chart
Click on the chart image.
This will take you to the chart legend page where you can learn how to interpret the chart and view full maps of the forecasted weather conditions.
Or, go to the PAS webcam site, to find out if the observatory is open and what the weather is like.
Observatory Location
Take Highway 280 to the El Monte Road exit. The observatory is located next to Parking Lot 4 and the Krause Center for Innovation (Bldg. 4000) on the campus of Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. (see map)
Please be advised that Parking Lot 4 is currently under construction. Refer to the map for other parking locations. Required $2 visitor parking permits are available from ticket machines in the parking lots.
For more information about the observatory and its programs, call the observatory hot-line at (650) 949-7334.
The Foothill College Observatory