Get a closer look at craters on the moon or Mars and Mercury at Moraine Valley Community College’s telescope open viewing nights in 2019. This is the 17th year of free public viewings. The schedule includes the following Fridays:

    May 10, 8:30 p.m.
    June 14, 8:45 p.m.
    July 12, 8:45 p.m.
    August 9, 8 p.m.
    September 6, 7:15 p.m.
    October 11, 6:15 p.m.

Viewings will be canceled if it is cloudy or there are high winds. Dates and times are subject to change.

All 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 in lots east of Building P or in the west section of the Building D parking lot and then walk on the path to the observation deck. Children must be accompanied by an adult or guardian.

Krista Syrup, professor of environmental/earth science, is in her second year hosting these viewings. Tom McCague, retired associate professor and amateur astronomer for more than 40 years, 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. Attendees can look through the telescope and are encouraged to bring their own if they have one.

Observers should dress for the weather, wear insect repellent and can bring their own binoculars or telescopes. Occasionally, the International Space Station passes into view. This season should include good views of Jupiter and Saturn.