Star viewing on summer nights

Photograph of the Dartmouth College Shattuck ObservatoryIn some past posts I have talked up things to do around Hanover during the summer (“A recurring summer treat”) as well as pointing out some resources that could aid you in doing your own astronomical viewing (“(Your own) Astronomical Observing”) and now, I’d like to combine these two ideas…here goes.

The Dartmouth College Department of Physics and Astronomy offers free public viewing at the Shattuck Observatory.  Public viewing sessions are held on Friday nights from 9:30 PM to 11:00 PM, from June 24 through August 26 in 2011.  Of course, the opportunity to participate in observing is weather dependent, so if the weather is questionable (i.e. cloudy, raining, etc…) you can call (603) 646-9100 and select option 2 to find out if an observing session will be held.

Commonly observed objects include the moon, planets, stars and neighboring galaxies…and that beats watching reruns of “Family Feud”.  The public observing sessions are hosted by a graduate student from the physics and astronomy department, providing you with an opportunity to ask questions of a knowledgeable and friendly specialist.  In addition to learning about the universe and astronomical phenomena, you may also learn something about the Shattuck Observatory.  Construction of the observatory was completed in the summer of 1854, and the observatory is the oldest scientific building on the Dartmouth campus.  More information about the history of the observatory is available in the summary at the start of the finding aid for Rauner Special Collections Library’s “Shattuck Observatory Meteorological Records collection”.

Information concerning location, parking, schedules, and directions are available at the following Dartmouth College Department of Physics and Astronomy webpage: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~physics/news/observing.html

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