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.
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.
McCardell Bicentennial Hall is located on the western edge of the College campus. Follow state route 125 west from the Middlebury village center, through the campus. Approximately 0.1 mile past the crest of the hill, turn right at the base of the hill onto Bicentennial Way, which leads to the parking lot. Enter the building and take the elevator to the top (7th) floor.
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 http://sites.middlebury.edu/observatory/ .