July Features Flash of Saturn’s Rings

The Westmont Observatory, home of the powerful Keck Telescope

The Westmont Observatory, home of the powerful Keck Telescope

The Westmont Observatory, which opens its doors to the public every third Friday of the month, will focus on Saturn and several astronomical objects Friday, July 21, beginning at 8:30 p.m. and lasting several hours. This summer has featured some of the best views of Saturn’s rings in nearly 15 years. The rings, a collection of ice and rocks bound together by gravitational forces, tilt 27 degrees to our line of sight, offering a stunning view through Westmont’s powerful Keck Telescope.

The viewing at Westmont occurs in conjunction with the Santa Barbara Astronomical Unit, whose members bring their own telescopes to Westmont for public use.

The Keck Telescope, a 24-inch F/8 Cassegrain reflecting instrument with Ritchey-Chretien optics, is housed in the observatory between Carr Field and the track and field/soccer complex. Free parking is available near the baseball field.