Saturn, the ringed gas giant, will be one of the celestial targets of this month’s free public viewing of the stars Friday, May 15, beginning at 7:30 p.m. at the Westmont Observatory. The best viewing generally occurs later in the evening. In case of inclement or overcast 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 houses the Keck Telescope, a 24-inch F/8 Cassegrain reflecting instrument with Ritchey-Chretien optics. It is one of the most powerful telescopes on California’s Central Coast. The Westmont observatory opens to the public every third Friday of the month in conjunction with the Santa Barbara Astronomical Unit, whose members bring their own telescopes to the college for the public to gaze through.
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.