Cold winter nights will provide good viewing, especially of deep-sky objects, at the Southern Utah University Ashcroft Observatory in January.

The observatory will be open to the public on Monday evenings, Jan. 14, 21 and 28, at 7 p.m., said Brent A. Sorensen, assistant professor of physical sciences and director of the observatory. Jan 14 should give good observation of deep sky objects, including nebulae, and will also provide an opportunity to view Mars, which is now receding after its closest proximity to Earth in several years.Jupiter will also be a highlight on Jan. 14; and on Jan. 21, the waxing crescent moon will be prominent. On Jan. 28, the waxing gibbous moon will provide an added attraction for visitors.

Because the observatory dome is open to the night sky, Sorensen urges visitors to dress warmly. The Ashcroft Observatory is three miles southwest of Cedar City off U-56 on Western Drive. For further information, call 586-7707.