SEE YOUR UNIVERSE EVERY CLEAR WEDNESDAY NIGHT AFTER 8 PM
(After sunset in the summer)
We hope to see you soon under the bright skies of Westport!
Since 1975, the Westport Astronomical Society has brought the wonders of the night sky to the thousands who have visited the observatory. We’re an all volunteer-run, non-profit organization that’s free and open to the public every Wednesday night from 8-10 pm if the skies are clear. Remember, near the summer solstice it doesn’t get dark until late, so please plan to come after sunset.
The Dome Observatory covers a 14″ Celestron EdgeHD purchased in 2019 on top of a Astrophysics 1200 German Equatorial mount with an Explore Scientific 102mm f/7 Essential Apochromatic ED Triplet Refractor piggybacked on top. The lawn regularly hosts the HUGE 25″ Obsession telescope, one of the largest in Connecticut. You can also occasionally find us doing sidewalk astronomy in the community with various 8-10″ dobsonian telescopes and we really love viewing the sun with the Lunt LS100Tha double stacked solar telescope.
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, MIT, Wesleyan, 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.
Professor Joshua Tan, LaGuardia Community College/CUNY- Our Galaxy Was A Quasar
Professor Tan is an optical astronomer by training, intensely interested in short-period binary millisecond pulsars. Aside from that, open problems in binary modeling, neutron star physics, and three-body dynamics occupy most of his research thinkspace. Recently, he became entangled with a project to commission a research and teaching telescope at Grand Mesa Observatory outside of Grand Junction, Colorado with remote access observing from New York City, either from the Astrophysics Division at the American Museum of Natural History or from the comfort of the observer’s own home! The telescope is now operational and contributing light curves to the database of the American Association of Variable Star Observers.
Dr. Teresa Nieves-Chinchilla, NASA Project Scientist for the Solar Orbiter Collaboration
Dr. Teresa Nieves-Chinchilla is a research astrophysics in the Heliophysics Science Division of the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), NASA Project Scientist for the Solar Orbiter Collaboration and Adjunct Profesor at the Catholic University of America. She has over 17 years of experience in the study electromagnetic fields, space plasmas and energetic particles as they relate to the understanding of the properties of large-scale structures of the solar wind. Prior to joining GSFC’s Heliophysics Science Division in 2009, through the NASA Post-doctoral Program (NPP), she worked from 2006 to 2009 studying including the temperature and electron density properties in Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) using data from the WIND spacecraft. Dr. Nieves Chinchilla has over 70 publications in professional journals that includes the Solar Physics Journal, Space Weather Journal, Astrophysical Journal and IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science. Dr. Nieves-Chinchilla earned her Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics from Alcala de Henares University in Madrid, Spain, in 2004.
Dr. Regina M Caputo, NASA Research AST, Fields and Particles – Dark Matter Discoveries
Originally from the southern Colorado town of Pueblo, I attended the Colorado School of Mines and graduated in 2006 with a B.S. in Engineering Physics and minor in Math/Computer Science.
I received my Ph. D. from Stony Brook University in 2011 in particle physics using data from the ATLAS experiment at CERN.
After graduating, I joined the ATLAS group at the Universität Mainz as a Postdoctoral Researcher working on numerous data analyses, detector operations and upgrades. In 2014, I moved to the University of California Santa Cruz where I joined the Fermi-LAT collaboration. Thus started my work in the exciting world of gamma-ray astrophysics!
I became a research scientist at the University of Maryland working at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in 2017 and in 2018 I was hired as a Civil Servant Scientist at GSFC.
I’m interested in dark matter searches, searches for new physics and all the astrophysics one must understand before discovering something new.
I am currently the PI of AstroPix: Silicon Pixel detectors in space and a mission concept submitted in the 2021 MIDEX Announcement of Opportunity, AMEGO-X; the Swift Observatory Project scientist and the ComPair balloon project manager.
The Westport Astronomical Society Pre Summer Solstice Election and Picnic!
Join the druids and feast upon a potluck of wonderful mystery meats and odd charred proteins cooked to perfection on the WAS Grill of Carbonation as we elect the next Westport Astronomical Society Board of Directors!
Charles Liu, College of Staten Island City University of New York – Cosmic Evolution with the James Webb Space Telescope
The Westport Astronomical Society welcomes back for his second visit, 5 years to the day – Dr. Charles Liu!
Dr. Liu is an extragalactic observational astronomer. His research focuses on colliding galaxies, starburst galaxies, and the star formation history of the universe; and it also wanders into the realm of quasars and active galactic nuclei. He also has a great love of teaching – informal as well as formal – and he feels a great need to help make the scientific community a better place for all people who wish to be a part of it. He is a Fellow of the American Astronomical Society, and he currently serves as chair of the department of physics and astronomy at CUNY College of Staten Island and as president of the Astronomical Society of New York.
The BOB MEADOWS STELLAFANE REPORT!
Westport Observatory Director BOB MEADOWS returns from the 87th Convention of Amateur Telescope Makers on Breezy Hill in Springfield, Vermont with all the latest and greatest innovations in amateur astronomy.
International Observe the Moon Night
International Observe the Moon Night depends on when the moon is in the first quarter. This unofficial holiday was created to spread more awareness about the moon and its importance. We open the Westport Observatory and take out the scopes to celebrate the moon with the entire world!
The moon plays a major role in life on Earth—in fact, Earth wouldn’t be able to function properly without the moon. The tides would be few and far between, we wouldn’t have an eclipse (lunar or solar), and our nights would be a lot darker.
The Westport Astronomical Society Pre-Winter Solstice Holiday Party!
Visual astronomy only works if you can see the sky!
Astronomers, check these links to plan your observing:
• WAS on Weather Underground • Hourly Astronomy Conditions
• NWS Satellite Animation Loops
• Transparency Animation
• Seeing Animation
Since 1975, the Westport Astronomical Society has been introducing new generations to the wonders of the night sky. Become a member today for special access to members-only benefits while helping support science in your community.Become a Member
We want to see you here at the Westport Observatory. Get directions and come to our events!Directions/Talk To Us