RIT Observatory Holds Open House May 13

Event is open to the public

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Denys Sakva (05 public policy)

Image of the Orion Nebula taken at the RIT Observatory with Celestron 80ED, Celestron CG5 mount, Digital Rebel, at 4x30 second exposures.

Mark your calendars, stargazers: You are invited to a star party at the Rochester Institute of Technology Observatory from 8 to 10 p.m. May 13.

“The moon will be a waxing gibbous, 10 days old,” says Michael Richmond, professor of physics and director of the RIT Observatory. “The young crater Copernicus will show off its rays, and visitors will be able to see the sun rising on the cliffs of Sinus Iridium, the Bay of Rainbows.”

Richmond and his astronomy students will host an open house at the observatory in RIT’s backyard at 645 John St., near the intersection with Bailey Road.

“Saturn is just starting to recede from our view, but still displays its rings proudly,” Richmond says. “Sharp-eyed viewers may glimpse the Cassini division between the outer ‘A’ ring and the inner ‘B’ ring. Three of the planet’s moons will be easy to see and two more might be found hiding close to the ring system.”

The observatory’s two big telescopes and a range of smaller optical devices will give visitors a close-up view of the night sky. Members of the Rochester Academy of Sciences will be on hand with their equipment and expertise as well.

“We’ll turn the telescopes to more distant objects as the night grows darker—a celestial beehive filled with young stars, and a pair of galaxies near the Big Dipper,” Richmond says.

Overcast skies and rain showers could postpone the event until 8 p.m. May 14. Check the status of the event on the RIT Observatory’s website at www.rit.edu/cos/observatory/.

For more information, contact Michael Richmond at mwrsps@rit.edu or 585-475-2538.