Night Sky with Stars


Observe the Moon Night, October 1

Observe the Moon Night, at Foothill Observatory, October 1 from 7 to 10 p.m.

The Foothill College Astronomy department and the Peninsula Astronomical Society are hosting lunar viewing as part of NASA's Observe the Moon Night.  On October 1, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., we will be observing the moon (and other objects!) from both the Foothill College Observatory and smaller telescopes.  

Free and open to the public!  


About the Astronomy Program

Discover the Universe at Foothill College

The Astronomy Department at Foothill College offers lecture and laboratory classes with astronomy professor Dr. Geoff Mathews.  Courses in solar system and stellar astronomy provide you with a non-technical introduction to the worlds with which we share our solar system, the life and death of stars, the formation of galaxies, and the evolution of the universe.

Dr. Mathews leads the Foothill AstroSims project, which aims to sustain the existing pool of astro-education simulations as well as developing new simulations covering previously unaddressed topics. Our long-time faculty member Andrew Fraknoi retired in June 2017.

Degree & Program Types

We do not offer a degree or certificate program in Astronomy. However, the astronomy courses meet general education requirements for other degrees offered.

The Foothill College Observatory

Observatory from the Library Quad area

Located on the main campus near the Krause Center for Innovation, the observatory provides students and community members with the opportunity for first-hand exploration of the wonders of the universe. 

The observatory is open on on the 1st and 3rd Friday night of each month from 9 to 11 p.m., starting May 6, 2022.

Required COVID-19 precautions for visitors are:

1) full vaccination

2) face mask covering nose and mouth

3) outdoor queueing, to avoid crowding within the observatory

Free parking spring 2022


The Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture Series

Founded in 1999, the Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture Series lectures are presented on six Wednesday evenings during each school year at Foothill College.  Speakers over the years have included Nobel-prize winners, members of the National Academy of Sciences and many other well-known scientists explaining astronomical developments in everyday language.

The series, moderated by Foothill College Astronomy instructor emeritus Andrew Fraknoi, is sponsored by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, the SETI Institute, the University of California Observatories, and Foothill College. Topics range from the exploration of the planets to the speeding up of the expanding universe; from planets around other stars to black holes at the centers of distant galaxies.

Lectures are free to the general public, and video versions of the lectures (starting February 2013) are available on the lecture series YouTube Channel.  Free audio files (podcasts) of the lectures are available as well through Buzzsprout.

The Peninsula Astronomical Society

The Peninsula Astronomical Society holds its meetings on the campus of Foothill College at 7:30 p.m. on the second Friday of each month in room 5015 next to Parking Lot 5. There is a $3 charge for parking — visitor parking permits are available from the machines in the parking lots (see map). Meetings feature lectures by prominent members of the professional and amateur communities, and are open to the public.

Astronomy on the Web

For further explorations of the universe, check out these selected astronomy sites on the Web.



Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture Series

 Dr. Victoria Kaspi, McGill University

On October 19 7pm, live streamed on YouTube, Dr. Victoria Kaspi of McGill University, will give a free, illustrated, non-technical lecture. 

This event will be live. 

Learn more about the series

Podcasts | Videos | YouTube

Foothill College Observatory

Open 1st and 3rd Friday of each month, 9 pm to 11 pm, and the following Saturday 10 am to noon

COVID-19 precautions required:

1) full vaccination

2) face mask

3) outdoor queuing


David Marasco

We're Here to Help!

David Marasco, Dept. Chair


Office Room 4405

Division Office Contacts

Zachary Cembellin, Division Dean
Phone: 650.949.7383
STEM Division
STEM Success Center