April 23, 1998

Middlebury College Celebrates National Astronomy Day With an Observatory Open House Night

In celebration of National Astronomy Day, the Middlebury College physics department will host an open house night at the College's observatory on Saturday, May 2 from 8:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., weather permitting. The observatory is located on the roof of the Science on Storrs Avenue, which is off South Main Street (Route 30). Visitors should enter the north door and follow signs for the observatory. If cloudy skies indicate uncertain weather, visitors may call the observatory at 802-443-2266 after 6 p.m. on May 2 for a status report. The event is free and open to the public.

On May 2, the first-quarter moon will be prominent in the evening sky, ideal conditions for viewing the heavens through telescopes. As the sky darkens, far more distant stars and galaxies should become visible.

The Middlebury College observatory is equipped with a 16-inch computer-controlled telescope outfitted with an electronic camera that can reveal objects far fainter than those that can be seen with the human eye. In addition, several smaller telescopes will be available for observing the night sky.