WCSU News

WCSU Observatory to offer planetarium shows, sky viewings

Saturday evening programs scheduled from Sept. 30 through Dec. 16

DANBURY, CONN. — Western Connecticut State University will host eight Saturday evening shows and viewings of prominent planetary and stellar objects in the sky during public nights from Sept. 30 through Dec. 16, 2017,  at the WCSU Planetarium and Observatory on the university’s Westside campus, 43 Lake Ave. Extension in Danbury.

WCSU Observatory presentations will include a one-hour planetarium show followed by telescope viewing of the moon, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune as well as star systems, clusters and nebulae visible during the autumn months. The Observatory, located atop a hill near Pinney Hall, offers viewings through a 20-inch, computer-controlled Ritchey-Chretien reflector telescope.

Admission is free and the public is invited. Limited parking is provided adjacent to the observatory, with additional parking available on University Boulevard.

Planetarium shows are appropriate for adults and older children, and will be canceled only in the event of hazardous road conditions or severe weather that would pose a safety risk. The viewing period will not be offered during public nights when cloud cover prevents sky observations. For updates to confirm plans for a scheduled public night, call (203) 837-8672 on the day of the event.

Following is the schedule of WCSU Planetarium and Observatory public nights, with the most prominent visible objects listed in the order of their celestial appearance during the viewing period for the evening:

  • 30: The planetarium show will start at 7 p.m., with sky observation following from 8 to 10 p.m. Visible objects will include Saturn, M13, the waxing gibbous moon, the Ring Nebula, Epsilon Lyrae, M11, M15, M2, Neptune, Uranus and the Andromeda galaxy.
  • 14: The planetarium show will start at 6 p.m., with sky observation following from 7 to 9 p.m. Visible objects will include the Ring Nebula, Albireo, M11, M15, M2, Neptune, Uranus and Andromeda.
  • 28: The planetarium show will start at 6 p.m., with sky observation following from 7 to 9 p.m. Visible objects will include the moon near first quarter, M15, M2, Neptune, Uranus, Andromeda and the Perseus galaxy cluster.
  • 11: The planetarium show will start at 5 p.m., with sky observation following from 6 to 8 p.m. Visible objects will include Albireo, M15, M2, Neptune, Uranus, Andromeda, the Cassiopeia star clusters and the Perseus cluster.
  • 18: The planetarium show will start at 5 p.m., with sky observation following from 6 to 8 p.m. Visible objects will include M15; M2; Neptune; Uranus; Andromeda; the Cassiopeia and Perseus clusters; and the Pleiades star cluster.
  • 2: The planetarium show will start at 5 p.m., with sky observation following from 6 to 8 p.m. Visible objects will include the nearly full moon; Neptune; Uranus; and the Perseus and Pleiades clusters.
  • 16: The planetarium show will start at 5 p.m., with sky observation following from 6 to 8 p.m. Visible objects will include Neptune; Andromeda; Neptune; Uranus; and the Cassiopeia, Perseus and Pleiades clusters.

For more information, visit www.wcsu.edu/starwatch/.

 

Western Connecticut State University offers outstanding faculty in a range of quality academic programs. Our diverse university community provides students an enriching and supportive environment that takes advantage of the unique cultural offerings of Western Connecticut and New York. Our vision: To be an affordable public university with the characteristics of New England’s best small private universities.