We’re a non-profit 501c3 organization comprised of dedicated volunteers that are dedicated to bringing the wonders of the night sky to the public. Join us every Wednesday night from 8-10pm (weather permitting and when the skies are clear) for our public nights and enjoy the views of planets, nebulae, and other deep sky objects through our telescopes.
The Dome Observatory covers a 16″ Meade LX200 with an Explore Scientific 102mm f/7 Essential Apochromatic ED Triplet Refractor piggybacked on top. The lawn regularly hosts the HUGE 25″ Obsession telescope, the largest in Connecticut available to the public. You can also occasionally find us doing sidewalk astronomy in the community with various 8-10″ Dobsonian telescopes and we really love viewing the sun with the Lunt LS100Tha double stacked solar telescope.
In addition, please join us for our free monthly lectures, featuring the best speakers from around the world in diverse fields such as astronomy, cosmology, and physics.
Sign up for our mailing list to be notified of any special events at the observatory here: http://www.was-ct.org/
ISS Flight Controller Joshua Nelson – From WAS to Bennu
We continue the WAS Virtual Free Lecture Science Series in July with former WAS-TNG President Joshua Nelson.
WE WILL NOT BE OPENING THE OBSERVATORY.
NOTE: This lecture will be hosted as a Webinar on Zoom. You will need to have the latest version of Zoom installed on your computer, phone or tablet before the meeting. We encourage you to participate and ask questions live and be a part of the meeting.
The entire meeting will be posted on our YouTube channel a few days later. The webinar begins at 7:50 PM on July 21.
This is our full monthly meeting and the speaker is scheduled to begin around 8:20 pm.
Joshua Nelson – From WAS to Bennu
In 1991 the Galileo spacecraft gave planetary scientists their first up close look at an asteroid when it flew by 951 Gaspra. Since then humans have sent spacecraft to 16 different asteroids and minor planets. Despite having visited so many asteroids, they continue to take us by surprise with their diversity and the information each provides about the formation of our solar system.
In this talk I will discuss the exploration of the asteroid Bennu by the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft. We’ll go over details of the mission, the spacecraft itself, challenges in operating a spacecraft around a distant asteroid and some of the latest scientific results to be released by the mission in the lead up to the sample collection activity later this year. I’ll also outline some of the fun space-related adventures I’ve been on since my time as a WAS member.
Joshua Nelson is currently an ISS Flight Controller at Johnson Space Center in Houston and a faculty member of the International Space University. Before moving to Texas earlier this year, he spent three years working as an Operations Engineer for the OSIRIS-REx mission. Josh has had a wide ranging career in the space industry working as a telescope operator, Mars drill mechanic, space habitat engineer and as a real life Mark Whatney growing plants in a Martian greenhouse simulator. All of this began when his family joined WAS back in 1993!
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The July Cal’s Corner is a tour of the constellation Lupus, the Wolf.