Observatory to Open on Thursdays

observatory.jpgCentral Missouri residents are invited to view the universe at any of several guided sessions on Thursday evenings at the historic Morrison Observatory operated by Central Methodist University in Fayette.

All sessions are free and open to the general public from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. on the following Thursdays: September 23, 30, October 7, 14, and 21.

Central Methodist University professor Dr. Kendal Clark and astronomy instructor Ralph Dumas, along with members of the Central Missouri Astronomical Association and CMU students, will conduct the viewing sessions, provide tours, and comment on historical highlights of the facility. Hands-on science activities also will be provided in the Observatory classroom. Visitors will be able to use the telescopes for viewing, weather permitting.

The planets Saturn and Jupiter will be visible September and October. The moon will be visible in the evening sky on October 14. Visitors will also be able to view selected star clusters, double stars, nebula and galaxies.

The Morrison Observatory features a 12¼ -inch Clark refractor and a 10-inch reflecting telescope. The Observatory was originally located in Glasgow, and it was acquired by CMU in 1927 before moving to its current location in 1935.

The Observatory is located at 504 Park Rd. in northwestern Fayette (65248), across from the Fayette City Park and swimming pool. To get to the Observatory, exit west on Besgrove Street from the intersection of Highways 5 and 240, and go approximately two blocks to Park Road and turn left; the Observatory is on the right, just a short distance from the turn.

For additional information about the Observatory, viewing sessions, or directions, contact Clark, preferably by e-mail at kwclark@centralmethodist.edu, or by calling 660-248-6383.

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