If you ever want to impress a visitor, and it happens to be a Wednesday evening, take them to 182 Bayberry Lane at 8 P.M.
The Rolnick Observatory offers spectacular free views of the solar system & the universe! The astronomers that run the observatory have always been friendly, informative and animated.
I remember, more than 30 years ago, riding my bicycle up to the top of the hill (highest point in Westport) and meeting the scientists. They were so enthusiastic about their new mirror that they showed it to me, sitting at the time covered with cloth in the new offices, and explained at length its significance.
I grew up in the neighborhood, went to Bayberry Kindergarten, and had spent my youth climbing around the towers at the abandon Nike Site. The new activity sparked my curiosity. Then later, when the mirror was installed, they let me peer at craters on the moon and spots on the sun. I was fascinated as they flipped the switch and rotated the dome. Nothing like having a fully staffed public observatory in your backyard!
The Westport Astronomical Society is one of those institutions that is invaluable:
Our Next Public Meeting: February 21st at 8:00 pm.
“After a demonstration of taking raw, web cam videos of Jupiter and combining them quickly and easily in Registax to make gorgeous, high resolution images at our January meeting, Martin Hamar will host the second part of our fun classroom project with all new video for you to process.
Once again, if you have a laptop, bring it and learn how to hook up a web cam to our telescopes and process your own images of the Solar System! If you just want to watch, you don’t need a laptop and you’ll still get a lot out of Martin’s presentation. This is of course, completely for beginners!”
In other astronomy news, astrophysicists from around the world will be linking up 50 of the largest radio telescopes on earth to take the first picture of a black hole’s “event horizon” at the center of our Milky Way 26,000 light years away. This last Wednesday, at the University of Arizona, scientists mapped out the project. Looking to test part of Einstein’s theory-the hole should be perfectly circular. The Milky Way is also home to 25 smaller black holes. Recent advances in technology make it possible to record radio waves at the right wavelengths and the timing to combine observations from telescopes thousands of miles apart.