Department of Physics

Astronomical Observation Nights in the Spring Semester

Astronomical Observing Night for Glenmont Elementary Third Graders

Profs. Kevin Knuth and Matthew Szydagis opened up the UAlbany Observatory on the cold night of Saturday March 4th from 6 - 9pm for the entire third grade class of Glenmont Elementary School in the Bethlehem Central School District, south of Albany. In all, about 40 families of children from three third grade classes attended the event. As it was quite cold, hot chocolate, coffee, and cookies helped create a much more cozy environment.

The junior astronomers received some instruction about identifying constellations while they waited to look through the telescope. The night was very cold and clear and provided excellent viewing opportunities for both the setting planet Venus, and the Moon, which was in the First Quarter phase. The crescent of Venus was easily seen, and the views of the Moon included the basaltic lava planes known as the Mare, or Seas, numerous large craters and vast mountain ranges.

In addition to Profs. Knuth and Szydagis, there were a large number of student volunteers including graduate students Jenn Carter and Tony Gai from the physics department, Corwin Knight and others from the University at Albany Astronomical Society, as well as several students from Prof. Szydagis' course on Contemporary Astronomy (APHY 100).

Astronomical Observing and Observatory Excursion for High-School Students from the NYC Public School Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning Schoo

Profs. Kevin Knuth and Matthew Szydagis will open up the UAlbany Observatory on the of Thursday March 30th from 7 - 9 pm for high-school students from the Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School in New York City. There are expected to be approximately 40 students with five chaperones who will be here visiting the University at Albany. Since the UAlbany Observatory does not have handicap access, Dr. Valerie Rapson, of the Dudley Observatory, will be setting up a telescope for the students on the Circle. We expect that by collaborating with Dr. Rapson of Dudley, the University at Albany Observatory will be hosting more events like this in the future.

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