View the Night Skies at Historic Morrison Observatory
Central Missouri residents are invited to view the universe during weekly guided sessions on Thursdays from Sept. 13 through Nov. 8 at the historic Morrison Observatory operated by Central Methodist University in Fayette. All sessions are free.
The Morrison Observatory will be open from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. on the following Thursdays: Sept. 13, 20, 27 and Oct. 4, 11, 18, 25, and November 1, and 8, according to Dr. Larry Peery, CMU professor of physics and director of the Observatory.
"We will have the moon, star clusters, nebulae, galaxies, double stars and other objects for viewing," Peery said. "The planet Jupiter should also be well placed for viewing for the late October and November sessions. Jupiter and its four larger moons are spectacular."
Faculty and students of Central Methodist University and volunteers from the Central Missouri Astronomical Association will host the public sessions. These include tours of the Observatory that explain its history and feature hands-on science activities. Visitors will be able to use a variety of telescopes for viewing, weather permitting.
The Observatory is located at 700 Park Road in Fayette next to the Fayette City Park. It can be reached by taking Besgrove Street west from the intersection of Highways 5 and 240 in Fayette. Go to Park Road and turn left, go one block and the Observatory is on the right.
For additional information about the Observatory, viewing sessions or directions, contact Dr. Peery by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Morrison Observatory, which is celebrating its 137th anniversary this year, features a 17-foot-long, 12- inch-aperture Clark refractor telescope manufactured in 1875 by Alvan Clark and Sons of Cambridge, Mass. The firm was considered the best telescope maker in the United States at that time. The Observatory also has an historic 8-inch refracting telescope that was used as a time standard for much of the Midwest in the late 1800s, and a modern 10-inch reflecting telescope.
The Observatory was originally located in Glasgow, where it had been operated under the direction of the trustees of the former Pritchett School Institute, which closed in 1922. In 1927, the Circuit Court of Howard County awarded to Central College (CMU) the observatory and certain real property that had been part of the observatory in Glasgow.In 1935, Central completed a structure to house the original observatory dome, telescope and other instruments. They were moved to Fayette that year and the new observatory structure was dedicated in June 1936.
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