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UACNJ Observership

The 2024 Observer Form is now available!

Observer Requirements

There are three basic requirements for Observer at Jenny Jump:
  • Membership in good standing in an affiliated club
  • Annual submission of the Observer Form and payment of the Observer fee
  • Participation in at least four public duty evenings April through October

Observer Fees

Annual Observer fees are set by the UACNJ Board at the last meeting of the year. The observing year runs from April 1 through the end of March of the following year.

Observer Benefits

  • Observers receive an annual UACNJ membership tag which should be worn whenever you are on duty at the observatory facilities.
  • Observers receive the combinations to the front gate and to the house after completing orientation or annual training. Observers who have qualified will receive the combinations to the appropriate observatories and eyepiece lockers. Combinations should never be shared unless authorized by the Membership Chair. Combinations are changed annually at the beginning of the public season. If you forget the combinations, contact the Membership Chair who will verify your Observer status and give you the combinations.
  • Observers can use the facilities, including the kitchen, bathroom, bunk room, library, meeting room, lecture hall, and observing field at any time during the year for astronomical and related activities.
  • Observers have access to high-speed wireless Internet and can use the computer in the upstairs meeting room which runs Stellarium as well as other astronomical software, Microsoft Office, and other programs.
  • Observers participate in the UACNJ email list at where information about special events, astronomy news, and impromptu star parties is shared. Observers can also ask questions and share observations on this list.
  • Observers who wish to secure personal equipment or other items (such as cameras, eyepieces, wallet, etc.) may do so in the gray metal cabinets located in the bunkroom or meeting room but must provide their own padlock labeled with the owner's name. All items should be removed when leaving unless the individual requests the use of a locker from the Observatory Chair for storage of an on-going project. Such project lockers must be identified with the Observer's name, phone number, and date.

Observer Responsibilities

Public programs are presented weekly from April through October on Saturday evenings from 8:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Observers are assigned to teams to coordinate coverage for public programs and may indicate their team preference on the Observer Form. Assignments are made in the order the forms are received.
Volunteering for more than the minimum number of public evenings is always welcome and very much appreciated. In addition, there are opportunities throughout the year for Observers to assist whenever a special program is scheduled for a Scout group, school, or other private group.
  • All Observers must assist with at least four public programs per year.
  • Observers on duty should arrive by 7:30 p.m.
  • Lectures during Saturday evening public programs are held rain or shine. Observers are expected to attend regardless of the weather.
  • Sign the log book in the upstairs meeting room each time you visit the UACNJ facilities.
  • Wear a membership tag when on duty for public events. Membership tags are hanging on the wall at the top of the stairs in the upstairs meeting room.
  • As soon as you arrive on the night of a public program please seek out the Team Leader to see where your help is needed.
  • Observers with telescopes are encouraged to bring them and set up on the field next to the house for public viewing.The public will naturally assume all telescopes on the field are available for observing on Saturday nights (April - October). If for some reason you do not want the public to view through your telescope, please refrain from setting it up during public hours.
  • Be familiar with opening and closing procedures.
  • Help to maintain a secure and clean observatory facility.
  • UACNJ is located on State property; all State Park rules apply.

Visitors, Guests and Others

Guests of Observers are always welcome. Observers wishing to bring more than three guests at a time must gain approval in advance from the Observatory or Membership Committee Chair. Those staying for the evening are encouraged to make a donation and to consider becoming an Observer. Observers are responsible for any guests they bring to UACNJ on non-public nights. Guests may not remain at the observatory without the host Observer on premises.

Uninvited Guests at Non-public Times

If a non-Observer arrives when you are at Jenny Jump on a non-public night, the visitor should be informed of the Observer requirements, given a UACNJ brochure and Observer Form, and politely asked to leave. Forms and brochures are available in the literature rack at the top of the stairs in the house or can be downloaded from Alternatively, you may choose to take responsibility for the individual as your guest.

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