July 18, 2000

Middlebury College to Present Summer Series of Open House Nights at Bicentennial Hall's New Observatory Beginning July 25

Public Invited to Star-Gaze During the Next Four Tuesday Nights

MIDDLEBURY, Vt.- On the next four Tuesday evenings from 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. starting on July 25, Middlebury College will offer star-gazing from Bicentennial Hall's observatory. Free and open to the public, the summer series will be the first open houses to be held in the new observatory. The Middlebury College physics department will open the facility for viewing of the heavens, weather permitting, on the last Tuesday in July and three additional Tuesdays in August-July 25, Aug.1, Aug. 8, and Aug. 15.

The new observatory dome is equipped with a 16-inch computer-controlled telescope. Several smaller telescopes will also be available for observing the night sky. Cloud cover obscures visibility, however, so the open house nights will take place only if the sky is reasonably clear. If the weather appears uncertain, check with the observatory at 802-443-2266, after 6 p.m. on the evening of an open house for a status report.

Bicentennial Way is the second right turn (when heading west) after the yellow blinking light on College Street (Route 125). The parking lot is at Bicentennial Hall at the end of the long drive. Inside the building, signs will mark the way to the elevators to the top floor and the observatory.