Public Viewing to Zoom in on Saturn

The Westmont Observatory is nestled in the hill above Thorrington Field

The Westmont Observatory overlooks the outfield of Carr Field

Westmont’s powerful Keck Telescope will aim for the rings of Saturn and several globular clusters during a free, public viewing Friday, Sept. 15, beginning about 7:30 p.m. and lasting several hours. The best viewing generally occurs later in the evening.

Though Saturn will only be 30 degrees above the southern horizon, viewing will be aided by a lack of light from the moon, which sets at 4:11 p.m.

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.

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