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Visit the Friedman Observatory on Monday nights

11/15/2006 —

Since its debut in 1990, the Friedman Observatory at Penn State Wilkes-Barre has opened the world of the skies to an appreciative public audience at no cost. In 2003, a 16 inch (0.40 meter) Meade Schmidt-Cassegrain LX200 telescope equipped with some of the most advanced technology available today was installed in the observatory. This telescope is larger in diameter than its predecessor and captures 30% more light, allowing viewers to see more objects in more detail. It can also automatically locate about 150,000 objects. The observatory dome itself is standard, approximately sixteen feet in diameter with a retractable hatch that can rotate so different parts of the sky can be observed.

This fall, the observatory is open on clear Monday evenings beginning one hour after sunset. For more information or to make reservations for large groups, contact John Rovnak, acting director, at 570-925-2561 or Dr. Thomas Winter at 570-675-9278. Group size is limited to about 20 attendees. Visitors are advised to check weather conditions before traveling to the campus as the observatory is only open on clear nights. No reservations are needed for individuals or small groups.

To learn more about the Meade Schmidt-Cassegrain LX200 telescope, visit the Friedman Observatory web site. Visitors to the site can also check the weather and surf the myriad of fascinating links to other sites such as Virtual Physics, Students for the Exploration & Development of Space (SEDS), Heavens Above, and Astronomy Magazine.

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