Thanks and 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 brand new 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 as well as 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.
The Bob Meadows Stellafane Report!
Bob Meadows returns from The 85th Convention of Amateur Telescope Makers on Breezy Hill in Springfield, Vermont – the World’s Oldest Amateur Star Party – to share the latest innovations in amateur astronomy.
NASA Flight Director Dr. Bob Dempsey – Tales From The Trenches – When Things Go Wrong in Space
WAS member and NASA Flight Director Dr. Bob Dempsey returns to provide an update on the commercial crew program progress to date, including results on the latest uncrewed Boeing test flight (currently planned for July 30th). He will then discuss how NASA’s Mission Control solves problems in space. To many, the movie Apollo 13 embodies the “can-do” spirit of NASA. Dr. Bob will describe several real incidents that have occurred on the International Space Station and how the men and women of Mission Control rose to the occasion to solve the problem and ensure the crew remained safe.
International Observe the Moon Night
You are invited to join the next International Observe the Moon Night! On October 16, 2021, observers all over the world will take part in lunar viewing, hands-on activities, virtual and in-person events, and more.
Rain/Cloud Date October 17, 2021
Scott Guzewich, NASA Research Astrophysicist – Roving Mars with Curiosity and Perseverance
Curiosity and Perseverance are exploring the history of Mars, helping understand if life could have ever thrived on its surface, and preparing for human exploration of the Red Planet.
Come learn how we drive rovers on Mars, what we’ve learned from Curiosity in its 9 years on Mars and what Perseverance is collecting to return to Earth!
Scott Guzewich is a scientist in the Planetary Environments Laboratory at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD. He received a PhD in Earth and Planetary Science from Johns Hopkins University in 2013. His research interests include terrestrial planet atmospheric dynamics, aerosols, and chemistry and conducts research through spaceflight mission data analysis and general circulation modeling. He is currently a member of the Mars Science Laboratory and Mars 2020 rover science teams.
Description to come…
Avi Loeb, Professor of Science at Harvard University – Extraterrestrial Life: Are We the Sharpest Cookies in the Jar?
The search for extraterrestrial life is one of the most exciting frontiers in Astronomy. First tentative clues were identified close to Earth in the form of the weird interstellar object `Oumuamua. Our civilization will mature once we find out who resides on our cosmic street by searching with our best telescopes for unusual electromagnetic flashes, industrial pollution of planetary atmospheres, artificial light or heat, artificial space debris or something completely unexpected. We might be a form of life as primitive and common in the cosmos as ants are in a kitchen. If so, we can learn a lot from others out there through the new frontier of “space archaeology”.
ABRAHAM (AVI) LOEB is the Frank B. Baird, Jr., Professor of Science at Harvard University, chair of Harvard’s Department of Astronomy, founding director of Harvard’s Black Hole Initiative, and director of the Institute for Theory and Computation (ITC) within the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. He also chairs the Advisory Committee for the Breakthrough Starshot Initiative, and serves as the science theory director for all Initiatives of the Breakthrough Prize Foundation, as well as chair of the Board on Physics and Astronomy of the National Academies. Author of four books and over 700 scientific papers, Loeb is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, the American Physical Society, and the International Academy of Astronautics. In 2012, Time selected Loeb as one of the twenty-five most influential people in space.
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
• Current/Future conditions
• 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