Oct 24, 2014: Phi Sigma Pi Honor Fraternity visits

Michael Richmond
Oct 25, 2014

On the night of Friday, Oct 24, 2014, fourteen members of RIT's Phi Sigma Pi Honor Fraternity came to the Observatory. The weather was only so-so, with light clouds coming and going throughout the evening. Nonetheless, they managed to learn a bit about the night sky and our equipment.

The visitors split into two groups, taking turns with the 12-inch telescope and with naked-eye observing. RIT freshman physics major Leann Overmyer, who is working as a TA for the Astronomy Lab class, pointed the telescope at celestial objects (the double star Albireo and globular cluster M13). She and Michael Richmond explained the importance of red light for anyone trying to see faint objects at night.

NTID faculty member Stacey Davis, who teaches our Astronomy Lab classes, and AST graduate student Valerie Rapson took our visitors out under the open sky to identify constellations and some of the brighter stars. They also talked about how telescopes work -- with hands-on explanations of both refracting and (as shown below) reflecting devices.

After the visitors left, Professor Davis stayed to run a special session for students in an NTID astronomy course. The skies cleared enough that some of them were lucky enough to see the Andromeda Galaxy through our 12-inch telescope!

Last modified 10/25/2014 by MWR.