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Eyes on the Skies

BU’s Coit Observatory open to the public every Wednesday

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The Judson B. Coit Observatory offers several telescopes of various diameters, both reflecting and refracting. Photo by Vernon Doucette

Don’t have a spare $200,000 for a seat on Virgin Galactic? Why not stroll up Comm Ave to BU’s Coit Observatory this evening and lose yourself in constellations, planets, and other deep sky objects such as nebulae and galaxies.

The observatory’s Public Open Night is a chance for people to take in the night sky through powerful telescopes and binoculars and learn a little astronomy to boot. The observatory offers several telescopes of various diameters, both reflecting (the light reflects off two mirrors and into your eye) and refracting (the light is bent by a glass lens to a focal point at the back of the telescope).

Open nights are held most Wednesday evenings throughout the year, weather permitting. Starting time is 8:30 p.m. during the spring and summer, and the program lasts about an hour. Weather is always a factor, and observations can’t take place when there are clouds, haze, or rain. Forecasters have predicted showers for this morning, with clearing skies in the afternoon. To find out if the open night is being held, call 617-353-2630 no earlier than two hours before the scheduled start.

The Judson B. Coit Observatory is on the roof of the College of Arts & Sciences, 725 Commonwealth Ave. The stairwell to the observatory is on the fifth floor, next to Room 520. Open nights are free and open to the public. There is no disabled access.

Caleb Daniloff at cdanilof@bu.edu.

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