Get close-up views of the craters on the moon or the glow of various stars at Moraine Valley Community College’s telescope open viewing nights in 2017. This is the 15th year of free public viewings. The schedule includes the following Fridays:
Viewings will be canceled if the sky 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 supervisor.
Tom McCague, retired associate professor, hosts the viewings. An amateur astronomer for more than 40 years, McCague 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 will have a chance to 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 bring binoculars if they have any. Occasionally, the International Space Station passes into view. This season should lend to good views of Jupiter, Saturn, galactic and globular star clusters, planetary nebulae, and satellites orbiting Earth.