PULLMAN, Wash. – The public is invited to a Star Party at 7 p.m., March 30, at the Washington State University Jewett Observatory.
This is the public’s first opportunity to use the observatory after the completion of an extensive renovation that included interior painting and updating as well as replacement of the two electric motors that turn the 30-foot wooden dome. Repairs also were made to the 1887, 12-inch refractory telescope, the largest in the state of its type. The telescope arrived in Pullman from Harvard University in 1953, the year the observatory was constructed. The event is free.
The astronomy program’s two new faculty members will be on hand to assist. They are Guy Worthey, a mission scientist for NASA’s Space Interferometry Mission, and Sukanta Bose, who studies black holes and gravitational waves.
“Amateur astronomers are invited to bring their own telescopes and set them up outside the observatory in addition to taking a look through the facility telescope,” said Worthey. “The moon will be in its first quarter and Jupiter and Saturn will both be visible, as well as star clusters and nebulae. We anticipate that this will be the first of monthly Star Parties that will continue through the good weather months.”
The event will be canceled in the case of cloud cover. The dome is open to the air, so visitors are advised to dress warmly and bring their own hot drinks. School-age children are welcome. There is no handicap access.