March 17, 1997


Spring is in the air, believe it or not, and the Middlebury College Physics Department will hold two open house nights at the College Observatory.

The planet Mars and comet Hale-Bopp will be highlights of the evening. The Observatory has a 16-inch computer-controlled telescope equipped with an electronic camera that can detect objects far fainter than can be seen with the human eye. In addition, several smaller telescopes will be available for observing the night sky.

The Observatory will be open to the public for viewing of the heavens on Friday evening, March 28, from 7:30 p.m. until 9:00 p.m., and on Friday, April 11, from 8:30 p.m. until 10:00 p.m., weather permitting. The Observatory is located on the roof of the Science Center, located on the Middlebury College campus at the intersection of College Street and Storrs Avenue. Access to the Observatory is via the stairwell at the north end of the building. Follow the signs.

These events are open to the public and there is no charge. The open houses will take place provided that sky is more than half clear. If the weather appears uncertain, visitors may call Campus Security at 443-5911, in the early evening of the open house. After 7:00 p.m. on March 28, or 8:00 p.m. on April 11, confirmation of the event is best obtained by a call to the observatory dome, 443-2266. This is most certain to be answered if the open house is occurring.