Telescope Features Primetime Views of Saturn

TC_1270Westmont’s powerful Keck Telescope will aim for the rings of Saturn and a globular cluster during a free, public viewing Friday, July 19, beginning at about 8 p.m. and lasting several hours.  The best viewing generally occurs later in the evening. In case of inclement weather, please call the Telescope Viewing Hotline at (805) 565-6272 and check the Westmont website to see if the viewing has been canceled.

The observatory opens its doors to the public every third Friday of the month in conjunction with the Santa Barbara Astronomical Unit, whose members bring their own telescopes to Westmont for the public to gaze through.

Thomas Whittemore, Westmont physics instructor, says he hopes to turn the 24-inch reflector telescope toward Saturn and its Cassini Division, the gap between the A and B rings. The viewing may also feature the Great Globular Cluster, M13, in Hercules. The cluster, one of the best-known in the northern hemisphere, consists of about 300,000 stars.

The Keck Telescope is housed in the observatory between Russell Carr Field and the track and field/soccer complex. Free parking is available near the baseball field. Here is a pdf of the campus map.