Keck Telescope Goes Dark at Public Viewing

The Westmont Observatory

The powerful Keck Telescope continues to under repair and non-functioning, but the public viewing of the stars will continue Friday, May 18, beginning at 7:30 p.m. and lasting several hours at the Westmont Observatory. Smaller telescopes will be provided by Westmont and members of the Santa Barbara Astronomical Unit.

The Westmont Observatory opens its doors to the public every third Friday of the month. 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. The telescope, which began having problems in February, needs a new computer, drivers and other equipment installed that will cost about $34,000. Ken Kihlstrom, Westmont professor of physics, says a borrowed computer has not worked either and the new equipment could take several months to arrive and install.