Tag Archives: Midd News & Events

Mittelman Astronomy Lecture Series

Mittelman Observatory is happy to announce the beginning of the Mittelman Astronomy Lecture Series. This aperiodic series will involve occasional astronomy and astronomy-related talks that will often be broad and interdisciplinary in nature.

The inaugural talk will be given virtually by planetary astronomer Heidi Hammel on Tuesday, September 8, from 7pm to 8:30pm. Dr. Hammel’s talk is entitled “Exploring the Solar System with the James Webb Space Telescope”. She is Vice President of Science for the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy and Interdisciplinary Scientist for NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope.

This talk is presented in collaboration with the Southern Vermont Astronomy Group.

More talk details can be found at go/astrotalks.

And, please note that registration is required for this free webinar at go/astrotalk.

Mittelman Astronomy Lecture Series announcements will routinely happen through the Observatory News mailing list at go/observatorynews.

Mittelman Observatory. Because the sky is always open!

Addison County Food for Families Initiative

With school-based summer food delivery programs for Addison County families ending Friday, Aug. 14, hundreds of families eligible for food support face a three week gap before fall school food programs start up. Please join a local task force of religious congregations and individuals who are organizing to fill this need.


1) The Food – Packages will typically include purchased fruit (grapes and berries, clementines, not fully-ripe bananas) small orange juice bottles, boxes of fruit leather, small kid-friendly yogurts, small single serving puddings, bacon and breakfast sausage, hotdogs, small packages of ground beef, sealed airtight sealed lunch meats. We also hope to offer “Lunchables”, canned tuna and canned chicken, and kid-friendly snack foods. We will be supplementing this purchased food with fresh produce, like corn on the cob, lettuce, green beans, and other kid-friendly vegetables obtained from Project HOPE and local farmers. We hope to add baked donations as we get rolling.

2) Money – While donations of food will be welcomed, the best support right now would be financial. That allows the organizers to make sure the diverse needs for each package are covered, to plan more efficiently, and to work with local grocers to maximize the value of the dollars we spend. Organizations and individuals can donate by going to the Zen Center website (https://www.breadloafmountainzen.org/giving/ ), clicking on the Donate button and following the directions (you can leave a note that your donation is for the Food for Families program as part of that process). If you prefer, you can mail a personal check made out to the Bread Loaf Mountain Monastery at P.O. Box 818, Middlebury, Vt. 05753 with Food for Families in the Memo line.

3) Workers – We may need help at the three food delivery sites, as well as help packaging it the previous day. Food donations and packaging work will take place at the Champlain Valley Unitarian Universalist Society, 2 Duane Court, Middlebury. You can drop off food in the unlocked shed on your right as you enter the CVUUS parking lot. CVUUS volunteers and staff will periodically move it to the kitchen and refrigerate those items that need it. Please attach your contact information to food donations. Do not leave items that are already past their expiration date. Assembly of boxes will be in the Fellowship Hall kitchen at CVUUS. Covid-19 safety precautions will be strictly observed.

Email revbarnaby@cvuus.org if you want information about volunteering.

Through the Telescope – The Observatories of Middlebury College

Mittelman Observatory is proud to announce the opening of the exhibit “Through the Telescope: The Observatories of Middlebury College” by Alexandra Izzard ’20. Please visit go/throughthetelescope.

This exhibit explores the history of observatories, and of astronomy, at Middlebury College from the institution’s very beginning through the present day in the chronological context of both institutional history and scientific discovery.

Key highlights of this exhibit include:

  • astronomy has been taught at Middlebury since its inception, being a required third-year course when the College opened its doors in 1800;
  • the early Laws of Middlebury College have now been made broadly available and accessible online;
  • Old Chapel served as the College’s first astronomical observatory upon its opening in 1836;
  • the 1937 observatory that once stood on the knoll north of Pearsons Hall served both the College and community for more than 50 years;
  • the modern day Mittelman Observatory atop McCardell Bicentennial Hall draws strongly from the tradition and inspiration of 220 years of history of observatories and astronomy at Middlebury.

The historical research project that serves as the foundation for this exhibit has been two years in the making. Creator Alexandra Izzard ’20 graduated Summa Cum Laude and highest honors with a major in the History of Art and Architecture and a minor in Italian. Alexandra pursued numerous interdisciplinary primary research opportunities that bridged the liberal arts and included the sciences while at Middlebury.

The project’s exhibit also features art by Eva Bod ’20 as well as broad collaboration with the Middlebury College Special Collections team and numerous others.

The online exhibit can now be enjoyed at the link above. The physical exhibit will be opening soon.

Mittelman Observatory. Because the sky is always open!

Mittelman Observatory Status – Summer 2020

While thoughts this time of year often turn to the community gathering atop McCardell Bicentennial Hall on mild summer evenings under dark Vermont skies for stargazing at the Observatory, this coming summer will necessarily be somewhat different.

Mittelman Observatory has been developing a variety of potential programming that may involve live virtual stargazing, skywatching advice, astronomy dispatches, social media, online student exhibits, student astronomical imagery, and perhaps even an astronomy talk. However, the community situation is obviously quite fluid and subject to prevailing directives.

Please visit go/observatorynews to join our Observatory News e-mail list if you would like to be kept abreast of our evolving summer activity plans.

Mittelman Observatory. Because the sky is always open!

Calling POC+ staff/faculty: Join us Mar 7!

HaQuyen Pham (Advancement) and Natasha Chang (former faculty) are excited to announce a kickoff event to gather self-identified people of color and their family members in and around Addison County.

Please join us Saturday, March 7 from 2-4 pm at Bundle (51 Main St in Middlebury) for snacks, tea/coffee, and socializing with other local folks of color.

Our goal is to provide a space where folks of color can build community, break bread, and come together to support and challenge one another.