Local astronomers share their telescopes with general public Sky watchers invited to point their lenses to Jupiter and beyond at SUNY Orange
Tom Blon (Photo provided)
Middletown — Astronomy Night is back on at SUNY Orange in Middletown. Bad weather in mid May caused the original date of the star-gazing night at the Rowley Center for Science and Engineering to be postponed. The new dates are Tuesday, June 19 and the new rain/cloud date Thursday, June 21. The time frame of the event is slightly later — 8:15 to 10 p.m. — because of the Summer Solstice. Also, the focus of viewing will be slightly different as only one planet, Jupiter, will be visible. However, a treat is in store for sky watchers — a waxing crescent moon. Join in on the fun of rooftop viewing of constellations, Jupiter and the moon. Music about stars, planets, the moon, and, indeed, the Drifters’ “Up on the Roof” will provide a celestial ambience. To add to the fun and learning experience, adjunct professor of astronomy Tom Blon, who leads the evening program, has also created a “Constellation Trivia” game. Professor Blon, who teaches at the Middletown campus, will have the college’s large telescopes set up on the patio roof – door 320 on the top floor — at the Rowley Center for Science and Engineering. Adjunct professor of physics Kevin McGee will bring his own big telescope. Adjunct professor of astronomy William Istone, who teaches at the Newburgh campus, will be on hand with his telescope. In addition, John Kocijanski, leader of the Catskill Astronomy Club, a retired Monroe-Woodbury High School astronomy and earth science teacher, is coming with his telescope. They are all ready to share their expertise and give attendees instructions on the use of the telescopes and what participants will be able to view. Describing his feelings about looking up into the “vast world of so many unknowns,” Blon states, “I enjoy sharing the night sky. I feel a bond with all humans who have watched the heavens.” This outdoor evening event is free and open to the public. Unless it is a blistering hot day, bring along a lightweight jacket because it gets nippy out in the night air and wind. The Rowley Center for Science and Engineering was designed as a sustainable, green building and is completely ADA compliant. The patio roof is the section of the building that is a flat roof where native plants grow and unobstructed views of the skies await you. If you goThe center is located at 10 East Conkling Ave., Middletown, just a quick walk from several college parking lots. The building may be entered from the inner campus walkway also. Questions may be directed to Cultural Affairs at 845-341-4891 and firstname.lastname@example.org website: www.sunyorange.edu/culturalaffairs.