Students will have a chance to gaze the universe from the Rice Creek Field Station in the fall
By Stefan Yablonski
Above: The late physics and astronomy professor Scott Roby, Kimberly Smith, a two-year past president of the student Astronomy Club and an Oswego graduate, and professor John Zielinski. 2018 file photo.
Rice Creek Field Station will host telescope observation sessions at the observatory. The field station is located at 193 Thompson Road, in Oswego.
Participants will gaze through the observatory’s telescope inside the rotating dome to view celestial objects like the moon, the bright planets, galaxies, nebulae and star clusters, according to Kristen Haynes, assistant director, Rice Creek Field Station.
It is a large, research-grade telescope (16-inch aperture).
It functions in concert with the rotating dome to provide an excellent viewing experience, she said. The telescope is powerful enough to view the surface features of the moon, as well as star clusters, nebulae, galaxies, and planets.
These sessions are offered by astronomer John Zielinski.
They always advertise sessions with these statements: “Since clear weather is needed for observing the night sky, interested participants should call 315-312-6620 after 7 p.m. on the evening of each event to hear a recorded message announcing whether or not the observation session will take place that evening. Prior to the evening of the event, this same number can be dialed to access a pre-recorded detailed description of the upcoming session,” Haynes said.
“These nights are free and open to the public. Anyone — community members and students — can attend, she added.
The telescope is used occasionally for classes — usually about once per semester if the weather cooperates and provides clear skies for viewing. The telescope is also used for astronomical research.
Free parking is available at the Rice Creek Field Station.
Children as well as adults are welcome. However, children younger than 17 must be accompanied by an adult.
Visitors may want to wear long sleeves and insect repellent, Haynes suggested.
• Friday Aug. 25, Saturday Aug. 26 and Sunday Aug. 27, 9 – 11 p.m.
• Friday Oct. 20 and Saturday Oct. 21, 7 – 9 p.m.
• Friday Dec. 15 and Saturday Dec. 16, 6 – 9 p.m.
Call 315-312-6620 after 7 p.m. on the evening of each event to hear a recorded message announcing whether or not the observation session will take place.