Come out to stargaze at Moraine Valley Community College as it hosts its series of telescope open viewing nights in 2012. This is the tenth year of public viewings with every year seeing an increase in attendance. Dates and times for this season’s open viewings include the following Fridays:
* March 30 at 7:30 p.m.
* April 27 at 8 p.m.
* May 25 at 8:30 p.m.
* June 29 at 8:30 p.m.
* July 27 at 8:30 p.m.
* August 24 at 8 p.m.
* September 21 at 7 p.m.
* October 26 at 6:30 p.m.
Viewings will be canceled if the sky is cloudy or there are high winds.
All open viewings are held at the telescope dome on the G. Jack Bradley Observation Deck, located on the west side of the college’s Nature Study Area, off Kean Avenue near 107th Street. Observers can park near the college’s tennis courts and then walk on the path to the observation deck. For safety reasons, children not accompanied by an adult or supervisor will be turned away.
Tom McCague, retired associate professor, hosts the viewings. An amateur astronomer for more than 40 years, McCague built the telescope using common hardware store items and donated it to the college. The telescope is a 6½-foot Newtonian reflecting model with a 13-inch diameter.
Because of the outdoor location of the telescope, observers are reminded to dress for the weather and bring binoculars if they have them.
Read About McCague and the stargazers: All He Needs is A Homemade Telescope and The Night Sky