The University Observatory hosted an open house on Sept. 26 from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. during Family Weekend.
Approximately 200 people attended the open house, including students, parents, and locals who all came to enjoy the starry night. The open house also featured a talk by Physics and Astronomy Professor Ned Ladd, titled “Galactic Ecology and the Lifestyles of Stars.”
The astronomical instruments used for astronomy classes at the University were available for enjoyment at the open house, including the Clark refracting telescope, which is 127 years old. Donated by William Bucknell in the 1800s, the 14-foot telescope has since been refurbished with a computer control to provide better precision when locating objects in the sky. When using the Clark telescope and three Celestron telescopes, viewers were able to locate objects in the night sky, such as the Andromeda Galaxy, the Ring Nebula, and Albireo—a double star nicknamed the “Bucknell Double” because of one star being blue and the other orange.
The Observatory Open House gave both students and families a chance to explore the University observatory, which many people have never entered, as well as the opportunity to learn about astronomy in a relaxed environment.