What we're about
Upcoming events (3)
We're going to be making our own telescope mirrors from scratch just like the pioneering Sidewalk Astronomers led by John Dobson. By the end of this class, you'll have a high-quality mirror better than anything available on the commercial market that you'll have made with your own hands, ready for aluminizing and installation in a telescope. I'll explain to you what goes into making the telescope itself as well as offering additional guidance after your mirror is complete, and go through the whole mirror making process without any complicated verbiage, equations or anything that a 9th-grader couldn't understand. You'll leave this class with a new understanding and appreciation of how telescopes work and a precision optic that'll last you a lifetime. Absolutely anyone is cut out to make their own mirror and telescope - not just engineers or scientists!
Explain and conduct telescope mirror making in a fun, easy-to-understand way fit for all (12 and up)
Finish class with completed mirrors ready for aluminizing/silvering and installation in a scope
Mirrors will be rough ground, then fine ground, then rough polished with pads (saves time), fine polished and then parabolized with Acculap pitch laps (to avoid smell/toxicity of natural pitch). Testing will be done with the Ronchi/Foucault method.
Class costs - $400 for 10", $275 for 8", $175 for 6"
Mirrors should take around 30 hours of actual work to complete. If someone needs additional time they can always be helped out individually.
Classes are Mondays & Thursdays in the WAS Classroom at 7:00pm running for two and a half hours. We hope to get 5 hours in per week and distribute it over the course of 6 weeks. Classes start in October should be finished by Thanksgiving.
If you're interested in the class - please RSVP by emailing the observatory - [masked]
International Observe the Moon Night
You are invited to join us for the next International Observe the Moon Night! On October 16, 2021, observers all over the world will take part in lunar viewing, hands-on activities, virtual and in-person events, and more.
International Observe the Moon Night is a time to come together with fellow Moon enthusiasts and curious people worldwide. Everyone on Earth is invited to learn about lunar science and exploration, take part in celestial observations, and honor cultural and personal connections to the Moon.
Scott Guzewich, NASA Research Astrophysicist – Roving Mars with Curiosity and Perseverance
WE WILL NOT BE OPENING THE OBSERVATORY
This lecture will be hosted as a Webinar on Zoom and alternatively a live stream on our YouTube channel. We encourage you to participate, ask questions and be a part of the live meeting.
Curiosity and Perseverance are exploring the history of Mars, helping understand if life could have ever thrived on its surface, and preparing for human exploration of the Red Planet.
Come learn how we drive rovers on Mars, what we’ve learned from Curiosity in its 9 years on Mars and what Perseverance is collecting to return to Earth!
Scott Guzewich is a scientist in the Planetary Environments Laboratory at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD. He received a PhD in Earth and Planetary Science from Johns Hopkins University in 2013. His research interests include terrestrial planet atmospheric dynamics, aerosols, and chemistry and conducts research through spaceflight mission data analysis and general circulation modeling. He is currently a member of the Mars Science Laboratory and Mars 2020 rover science teams.