Campus News

View Year

Juniata Physicis Professor Opens Observatory to Community

(Posted October 7, 2013)

Matt Beaky, assistant professor of physics, teaches a student how to use the telescope in the Hickes Observatory.

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Are the stars out tonight? Do you know if it's cloudy or bright? Astronomy fans will only have eyes for the sky in a series of "Observatory Nights" sponsored by Juniata College's physics department starting Monday, Oct. 14 and continuing through Dec. 9.

"Everybody should have the opportunity to look through a telescope to see things things they've always wondered about in our solar system and our galaxy," says Matt Beaky, assistant professor of physics, who teaches the college's astronomy courses. "There will be faculty and students there to show how to use a telescope and explain what is being seen. We'll look at everything from the moon to planetary nebulae in our galaxy."

On each scheduled night students and visitors from the community are invited to Juniata's Paul Hickes Observatory to use several powerful telescopes to observe a variety of celestial objects, which will vary with the seasons. The Hickes Observatory is behind the Brumbaugh Academic Center, reachable by driving north up Mifflin Street and driving onto the gravel drive behind the center. Parking is available. The observatory is reachable by walking up the hill.

Each Observatory Night will be from 8 to 10 p.m. The dates are as follows: Oct. 14, Oct. 28, Nov. 1, Nov. 25 and Dec. 9.

Beaky emphasizes that visitors and students should dress for the current weather conditions. The observatory is open to the weather. Observatory Nights may be cancelled in the event of clouds, rain or snow. Beaky will cancel by 5 p.m. on the scheduled day. To check whether there has been a cancellation, go to http://www.juniata.edu/astronomy/.

"Everybody should have the opportunity to look through a telescope to see things things they've always wondered about in our solar system and our galaxy."
Matt Beaky, assistant professor of physics,

If large groups of 10 or more visitors would like to come to the Observatory, please contact Matt Beaky directly at 814-641-3550 or at beaky@juniata.edu about scheduling a special Observatory Night.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.