The Physics Department at Middlebury College will sponsor two open house nights at the College Observatory in July, on Wednesday evenings, July 6 and July 20. The observatory, located atop McCardell Bicentennial Hall, will be open to the public for viewing the heavens from 9 to 10:30 p.m. both evenings, provided skies are clear.
On July 6 the crescent moon should be well placed for striking views of its mountains and craters. And with no moon on July 20, the dark skies should provide excellent conditions for viewing distant star clusters, nebulae, and other faint objects. The ringed planet Saturn will be visible both evenings.
The observatory dome houses a 24-inch computer-controlled telescope. In addition, several smaller telescopes will also be available on the roof deck for observing the night sky. There is no set program for the open house; visitors are welcome at any time between 9 and 10:30.
This event is free and open to the public, as well as to all students and staff. Language use is minimal (and some of our helpers know other languages!), so students from the Language Schools are welcome.
The open house will take place only if the sky is at least mostly clear. If the weather appears uncertain, visitors may call the observatory at 443-2266 after 7 p.m. on the evening of the open house for a status report.