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College observatory open to public this weekend

MIDDLEBURY — The Physics Department at Middlebury College is again hosting an open house night at the college observatory this spring. The observatory, located atop McCardell Bicentennial Hall, will be open to the public for viewing the heavens on Friday evening, May 8, from 9 until 10:30 p.m., provided the skies are mostly clear.
Jupiter and Venus will be in the evening sky. Also visible through the telescopes will be a number of interesting stars, star clusters and nebulae. There is no set program for the open house nights; the public is invited at any time between 9 and 10:30 p.m.
The observatory dome houses a 24-inch computer-controlled telescope. Additional, smaller telescopes will be available on the roof deck for observing the night sky.
McCardell Bicentennial Hall is located on the western edge of the College campus. Follow state Route 125 West from the Middlebury village center, through the campus. Approximately 0.1 mile past the crest of the hill, turn right at the base of the hill onto Bicentennial Way, which leads to the parking lot. Enter the building and take the elevator to the top (seventh) floor.
All observatory public nights are free and open to the public, but will take place only if the sky is at least mostly clear. If the weather appears uncertain, visitors may call the observatory at 443-2266 after 7 p.m. on the evening of the open house for a status report. More information can also be found at http://sites.middlebury.edu/observatory.

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