See the Stars and More During Observatory Community Nights

by Diane VanDyke

Montgomery County Community College will hold three community nights this fall in its state-of-the-art Observatory and Observation Deck.

The open observatory dates are Sept. 17 from 8-10 p.m.; Oct. 15 from 7-9 p.m.; and Nov. 12 from 6-8 p.m., weather permitting. The Observatory is located on the third floor of the College’s Advanced Technology Center, Central Campus, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell. For more information, call 215-641-6460.

Community nights are free of charge and are open to the public, and astronomy clubs are welcome. Students from the College’s Introduction to Astronomy course volunteer during the event to share their knowledge and assist visitors with using the telescope and viewing equipment.

The Observatory and Observation Deck are features of the College’s 60,000 square-foot Advanced Technology Center. The Observatory features a 16-inch MEADE Schmidt-Cassegrain research-level telescope and a 90-mm Coronado telescope for safe observation of the sun. All of the instruments are controllable both in the classroom as well as in the Observatory itself. Through a fiber network, images can be downloaded for further study and comparison and can be used in online courses.

Assistant Professor Kelli Spangler operates the telescope during a Observatory Community Night last fall. Photo by Norman Detweiler

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