Stargazing Offered in New Observatory Dome

Posted: September 10, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Ryann Doyle

The Astronomy Department is giving students, faculty, staff and the interested public an opportunity to attend informal night sky observing sessions in the new observatory in the Research I building.

Research Building I
The observatory tower in the Research I building will be open to the public for stargazing this fall.

The Mason Observatory, which officially opened in January, is home to a 12-inch, computer-controlled Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope that provides good views of the sky, even in the center of the Fairfax Campus. An 8-inch Dobsonian telescope and a 6-inch refractor telescope, originally built by Mason students in 1975, are also available.

Six observing sessions are scheduled on Monday evenings throughout the fall semester. However, if the wind speed is greater than 35 mph, or if the sky is more than half overcast one hour before the session is scheduled to begin, the observing session will be canceled.

Participants should assemble in the Research I lobby by the main elevators and proceed to the observatory dome as a group. Observing sessions will start around 8:30 p.m. and last about an hour and a half, weather permitting.

Observing session schedule:

Sept. 10

Sept. 24

Oct. 15

Oct. 29

Nov. 12

Nov. 26

For more information, visit the Astronomy Observing web site.

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