Friday, March 17, 2017
Every 3rd Friday of the month, the Westmont Observatory in conjunction with the Santa Barbara Astronomical Unit opens its doors to the public. In addition to providing an opportunity for visitors to use the Observatory telescope, SBAU members also bring their own telescopes for the public to gaze through. The event begins at sunset and lasts for several hours.
Westmont now houses a high-tech 24-inch reflector telescope that is one of the most powerful on California’s Central Coast. The new Keck Telescope gathers twice as much light with nearly twice the resolving power as the older 16-inch telescope used for the last 50 years. The new telescope is a magnet for astronomy enthusiasts around Santa Barbara and a focal point for astronomical research by faculty and students.
The Keck Telescope is housed in the new observatory between Russ Carr Field and the new track and field/soccer complex. Free parking is available near the baseball field.
If you have ever thought that stargazing was too difficult, too expensive, or too boring, consider giving it a try on one of these free nights at the Westmont Observatory. Having a telescope operator to position the telescope for you and describe all that is being seen through the lens can make all the difference!
It has been said that a person's first experience with a telescope can tilt their eyes to the sky in a somewhat permanent fashion. So why not take this opportunity to see the night sky from a whole new angle. Bring your friends and family to the Westmont College observatory for monthly public telescope night.
The best viewing generally occurs later in the evening. In case there is inclement or overcast weather, please call the Telescope Viewing Hotline at 805/565-6272 and check the Westmont website to see if the viewing has been canceled.