Tag Archives: astronomy

Observatory Stargazing Open House Nights – Autumn 2016

Middlebury College Observatory and Middlebury Physics will again host stargazing open house nights this autumn. These Observatory events are scheduled for Friday evenings, September 16 and September 30, from 8:00 PM until 9:30 PM and are weather permitting.

Saturn and Mars will be in the evening sky on these dates. A variety of interesting stars, star clusters, and nebulae will also be visible through the Observatory’s telescopes. The Observatory includes a 24-inch telescope in a dome and smaller telescopes on the roof.

Observatory open house nights are free and open to the public. However, they will take place only if the sky is expected to be mostly clear. Please check the Observatory web site at go/observatory or call the Observatory at 443-2266 after 6 PM on the evening of the event for weather status.

Observatory Stargazing Open House Nights – Summer 2016

Middlebury College Observatory and Middlebury Physics will again host stargazing open house nights this summer. These Observatory events are scheduled for Wednesday evenings, June 29, July 6, 20, 27, and August 3, from 9:00 PM until 10:30 PM and are weather permitting.

Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars will be in the evening sky on many of these dates. A variety of interesting stars, star clusters, and nebulae will also be visible through the Observatory’s telescopes. The Observatory includes a 24-inch telescope in a dome and smaller telescopes on the roof.

Observatory open house nights are free and open to the public. As these are minimal language events, they are also appropriate for Language Schools students. These events will take place only if the sky is expected to be mostly clear. Please check the Observatory web site at go/observatory or call the Observatory at 443-2266 after 7 PM on the evening of the event for weather status.

Open House Nights at the College Observatory – Spring 2016

The Physics Department at Middlebury College will again host Open House nights at the College Observatory this spring. The Observatory, located atop McCardell Bicentennial Hall, will be open to the public for viewing the heavens on Friday evenings, April 29 and May 6, from 9:00 PM until 10:30 PM, provided the skies are mostly clear.

Jupiter will be in the evening sky on both of these dates. Also visible through our telescopes will be a number of interesting stars, star clusters, and nebulae. There is no set program for the Open House nights; the public is invited at any time between 9:00 PM and 10:30 PM.

The Observatory dome houses a 24-inch computer-controlled telescope. Additional, smaller telescopes will also be available on the roof deck for observing the night sky.

All Observatory public nights are free and open to the public, but 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 or visit the Observatory web site after 7:00 PM on the evening of the Open House for a status report. More information can also be found at go/observatory .

Also, please consider visiting the Observatory web site to sign up for our e-mail list with event announcements and status updates as well as to enjoy a wide variety of resources about astronomy at Middlebury and the night sky. The web site includes stunning images taken at the Observatory, information about what is currently visible in the night sky, history of the Observatory, and a summary of last year’s extensive Observatory upgrades.

The Observatory would like to acknowledge support from the Michele and David Mittelman (’76) Family Foundation for enabling substantial renovations and modernizations that represent a fundamental commitment to the long-term future of the Observatory, both for curricular and research uses, as well as for outreach. These improvements to the Observatory are helping ensure that Middlebury students, College community members, schoolchildren, and the public will continue to be able to explore the universe on the Middlebury campus under dark Vermont skies.

Lunar Eclipse Viewing at the College Observatory – 27 September 2015

The Physics Department at Middlebury College will host viewing of the upcoming total lunar eclipse at the College Observatory. The Observatory, located atop McCardell Bicentennial Hall, will be open to the public for viewing the moon on Sunday evening, September 27, from 8:30 PM until 10:30 PM, provided the skies are mostly clear.

Viewing of the lunar eclipse will happen from the roof deck with smaller telescopes as well as with the unaided eye. Please note that for this event, the larger computer-controlled 24-inch telescope in the Observatory dome will not be available. The moon is best appreciated with the larger field of view of a smaller telescope or without any telescope at all. The larger telescope is scheduled to be available for stargazing during a subsequent public open house night this fall.

This Eclipse Viewing at the Observatory is free and open to the public, but 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 or visit the Observatory web site, after 6:30 PM on the evening of the Eclipse Viewing for a status report. More information can also be found at go/observatory .

College Observatory Status – Summer 2015

The Physics Department at Middlebury College is performing upgrades at the College Observatory and will not be having Open House nights this summer.

Over the years, Open House nights at the Observatory have been popular events on the Middlebury campus during the summers as the Observatory has opened its doors to the College community and the public to share the wonders of the night skies.

Thanks to generous support from the Michele and David Mittelman (’76) Family Foundation, the Observatory will be undergoing substantial renovations and modernizations that represent a fundamental commitment to the long-term future of the Observatory, both for curricular and research uses, as well as for outreach. These improvements to the Observatory will help ensure that Middlebury students, College community members, schoolchildren, and the public will continue to be able to explore the universe on the Middlebury campus under dark Vermont skies.

The current expectation is that the Observatory will again be operational in the fall after completion of the upgrades.

Open House Nights at the College Observatory – Spring 2015

The Physics Department at Middlebury College will again host Open House nights at the College Observatory this spring. The observatory, located atop McCardell Bicentennial Hall, will be open to the public for viewing the heavens on Friday evenings, May 1 and May 8, from 9:00 PM until 10:30 PM, provided the skies are mostly clear.

Jupiter and Venus will be in the evening sky on both of these dates, while the moon will be visible only on the first of these two evenings. Also visible through our telescopes will be a number of interesting stars, star clusters, and nebulae. There is no set program for the Open House nights; the public is invited at any time between 9:00 PM and 10:30 PM.

All observatory public nights are free and open to the public, but 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 or visit the observatory web site after 7:00 PM on the evening of the Open House for a status report. More information can also be found at go/observatory .

Seeing the Unseen

Seeing the Unseen
In honor of Professor Frank Winkler
on his retirement

Professor, friend, our class’s true
astronomer, whom a blackboard can’t
erase. Who’s taken us beyond the seen,

and unseen stars. Where space is
anybody’s second guess. Where,
it seems, we’re more and less

and everything that matters.
Who uses up three boards to write
love’s infinite sign, the feeling

today in your, in our last class,
that can’t be canceled out, that
remains a constant one.

Not by chance, your name, Frank
Winkler, has us winking at
the stars, those burning gases

it takes more than this semester
to reach us. Years from now,
maybe from another galaxy,

one of us will look back to earth—
you taught us we’re made up
of everything there is

(Did I get that right on the test?)
To look back and see the comet’s
trace of you jetting across

Bi-Centennial Hall’s grand
space. See you dropping
that bowling ball, near my

roommate’s, First Year foot,
to show us the principle by which
we’ve come to be love’s

first gravity. So, Professor,
at the end of this hour, we can
stand, we can fall back to Earth.

Gary Margolis ‘67
Executive Director, Emeritus,
College Mental Health Services
Associate Professor (part-time)
English and American Literatures