This year the Westport Astronomical Society celebrates 40 years of bringing the wonders of the night sky to the thousands who have visited the Rolnick Observatory. We’re a non-profit organization of all volunteers that’s free and open to the public every Wednesday night from 8-10 pm, if the skies are clear. The Dome Observatory houses a 12.5″ Newtonian telescope and the lawn regularly hosts the newly upgraded and HUGE 25″ Obsession telescope, the largest in Connecticut available to the public.
WAS has free monthly meetings with experts at the top of their fields. We feature speakers from the Hayden Planetarium, The American Museum of Natural History, Yale, NYU, UConn, Columbia and educators from all over the globe who enrich our community with cutting edge discussions on cosmology, physics and astronomy. Additionally, there are additional special, private events scheduled throughout the year for our members and supporters.
SUPPORT SCIENCE IN YOUR COMMUNITY – BECOME A MEMBER TODAY!
Check out and register on our new forum! Discuss the sky and upcoming events with members of the Westport Astronomical Society.
NEXT MEETING: Tuesday, December 15, 7:30 pm
This meeting will be held at the Westport Library’s McManus Room
20 Jesup Road, Westport, CT
December 15 – Heidi B. Hammel –Planetary Astronomer – Executive Vice President of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy
Exploration of the Universe with the James Webb Space Telescope
The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is next in the line of NASA’s Great Observatories, a scientific successor to both the Hubble and Spitzer Space Telescopes. This space observatory, scheduled for launch in 2018, will see the first galaxies to form in the universe, and explore how stars are born and give rise to planetary systems. It will study exoplanets, investigating their potential for life. JWST is optimized to detect infrared light, using a segmeted mirror more than 6 meters in diameter and operating a million miles away in the cold, dark environment of Earth’s Lagrange 2 point. It will carry four science instruments covering wavelengths from 0.6 to 28 microns.
The Westport Astronomical Society’s Free Monthly Lecture Series
January 19, 2016 – Elliott Horch, Professor of Physics at Southern Connecticut State University
February 16, 2016 – Eric Raymer, Columbia Science Fellow in the Department of Physics
Supergiant Fast X-ray Transients
March 15, 2016 – Tabetha Boyajian, postdoctoral Fellow at Yale
The PlanetHunters and the case for the Most Mysterious Star in Our Galaxy
Dr. Boyajian’s research interests involve determining the fundamental properties of stars and characterization of exoplanet host stars. Her observing experience includes long baseline optical/infrared interferometry, and optical spectroscopy. Boyajian also works on modeling data from the Kepler space telescope for the PlanetHunters project (www.planethunters.org).
Please Support Science in your Community with a Donation to WAS
The Rolnick Observatory is an all volunteer organization 100% supported by your donations and memberships. We are all unpaid volunteers and completely rely on YOU for financial support. No tax-deductible amount you can give is too small and no amount is too great! Please donate or become a member today: Individual, Family and Corporate memberships are available.
What’s this thing?
It’s the astronomer’s forecast. It shows when it will be cloudy or clear for up to the next two days. It’s a prediction when The Rolnick Observatory will have good weather for astronomical observing. Hint: If you see white blocks at night near the red vertical line (midnight), there’s a good chance we’ll be closed. Click the image to refresh.