2009: International Year of Astronomy

at Swarthmore College

Tuesday nights from October 20 through November 24, 2009
at the Peter van de Kamp Observatory on the campus of Swarthmore College

telescope1 telescope3 telescope2 telescope4 telescope5 jupiter




We'll give a talk starting at 7:30 PM, followed by a telescope viewing, each Tuesday night at the newly dedicated Peter van de Kamp Observatory at Swarthmore College.

Talk: 7:30 to 8:00 PM, Science Center room 199
Observing: 8:00 PM to 9:00 PM, Peter van de Kamp Observatory, Science Center room 393

The event will be held rain or shine, and if the weather is bad and we're not able to use the telescope, we'll still have the talk at 7:30.

Telescope viewing and activities

We will use our 24-inch telescope to look at Jupiter and its moons, which was one of Galileo's original observations - and one that showed for the first time that some objects in the Universe (Jupiter's four bright moons in this case) do not revolve around the Earth. We'll also look at the Moon, on Tuesday nights when it's up in the evening sky. Galileo showed that the Moon has hills and valleys, demonstrating that heavenly objects are three-dimensional worlds. This year marks the 400th anniversary of these discoveries. In addition to Jupiter and the Moon, we will look at binary stars, star clusters, and other deep sky objects.

On cloudy nights we will present a talk that includes images from the Hubble Space Telescope and insights into star birth and star death. On clear nights, the talk will highlight the observations we'll make that night.

2009, the International Year of Astronomy

2009 is the 400th anniversary of Galileo's first astronomical use of the telescope. The events at Swarthmore College are part of the Philadelphia area's No Night Without a Telescope program celebrating the IYA.

Note: The Swarthmore IYA event will start at 7:30 PM each Tuesday night from Oct. 20 through Nov. 24, though events at other local colleges and universities are beginning at different times.


Location and directions

The new Peter van de Kamp Observatory is on the roof of the Science Center at Swarthmore College. General directions to the Swarthmore campus and specific directions to the telescope are available. Room 199, where the talks will be given prior to the observing, is on the first floor, almost directly below the observatory.

Contact information

Physics & Astronomy Department website

Weather-related updates the day of an open house can be accessed by calling 610-957-6335 (but do not leave any messages there; if you require a reply, please email us at physics -at- swarthmore -dot- edu).

Weather information

graphical weather forecast
NCAR weather models
more weather links


This page is maintained by David Cohen
cohen -at- astro.swarthmore.edu

Last modified: October 12, 2009