Campus Life

USU Observatory Welcomes Public on Friday, April 8

All invited to view spring's night sky at observatory public night

By Mary-Ann Muffoletto |

The public is invited to view the night sky through the telescope at the USU Observatory Friday, April 8, from 9-10:30 p.m. Admission is free and masks are welcome. (Photo: Steve Sellers, CC BY-SA 2.0)

The Utah State University Observatory opens its doors to the public Friday, April 8. All are invited to view Cache Valley’s night sky from the observatory telescope from 9-10:30 p.m. All ages are welcome and admission is free. Masks are welcome.

“We invite the Cache Valley community to enjoy star-gazing from our state-of-the-art facility,” says James Coburn, Department of Physics teaching laboratory supervisor and USUO coordinator. “Our primary targets for April 8 will be the Orion Nebula, the Pleiades ‘Seven Sisters’ star cluster, the Moon and the stars Betelgeuse and Sirius.”

Located on the roof of USU’s Science Engineering Research (SER) building, the observatory houses a 20-inch reflecting telescope on a computerized mount that yields clear, crisp images of faraway planets and deep space objects. The observatory’s unique half-circle building, designed and constructed by USU Facilities, features a circular staircase that leads to the telescope gallery topped with a metal dome measuring 16.5 feet in diameter.

All attendees are encouraged to visit the USUO website before arriving on public night, as the gathering will be cancelled in the event of cloudy or inclement weather.

Additional public viewing nights are planned in Fall 2022.

The observatory’s telescope is accessible by stairs only from the SER building’s rooftop deck.

Parking for the event is available near the Caine Performance Hall at 1090 E. 675 North on the USU campus and in the Gateway Parking Terrace at 1070 East 700 North in Logan. The SER building is southwest of the Caine Performance Hall. To access the observatory, visitors should take the freight elevator located at the northwest corner of the first floor of the SER building to the roof. For directions, visit the observatory parking website. For parking information, visit USU Parking and Transportation Services’ Visitor Parking website.

USU students are the primary beneficiaries of the observatory, which was completed in 2009. More than 700 Aggies are enrolled in spring astronomy classes, which afford them access to USUO.

USU Observatory Coordinator James Coburn demonstrates the facility's 20-inch reflecting telescope. The observatory is open to the public Friday, April 8, from 9-10:30 p.m. (Photo: M. Muffoletto)

WRITER

Mary-Ann Muffoletto
Public Relations Specialist
College of Science
435-797-3517
maryann.muffoletto@usu.edu

CONTACT

James Coburn
Laboratory Supervisor
Department of Physics
435-797-3014
james.coburn@usu.edu


TOPICS

Hands-on Learning 161stories Space 108stories STEM 56stories

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