For over 40 years, the Westport Astronomical Society has brought the wonders of the night sky to the thousands who have visited the observatory. We’re a 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. 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.
Planet Formation through Radio Eyes | Dr. Meredith Hughes – Southern Connecticut State University
Planets form in disks of gas and dust around nearby young stars. Radio telescopes are particularly good at exploring these planetary nurseries, because they allow us to peer deep into the dusty cocoons surrounding the young planets, as well as revealing the microwave emission from the small gas molecules that make up most of the mass of the disk.
The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), the most advanced radio telescope ever built, has recently started operations in northern Chile, and it is revolutionizing our views of planet formation. I will describe some of the ways in which we are using ALMA to unveil the planet formation process and learn about the properties of the youngest planetary systems.
Mars’ Mysterious Atmosphere | George McDonald
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 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.
Astronomy only works if you can see the sky! Check the current sky conditions and see whether the observatory is open before planning your trip.
For over 40 years, 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
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