Observatory Soon Offering Free, Open-To-Public Weekends

Visitors will have opportunities to view Jupiter, Saturn, and the moon

May 30, 2019

By MAGGIE GEBHARDT / mgebhardt@centralmethodist.edu

Students in the observatoryCentral Methodist University’s Morrison Observatory will hold two special viewing weekends in July – giving visitors the chance to check out the fascinating details of Jupiter, Saturn, and the moon.

All sessions are free and open to the general public, and will take place from 8:30 to 11:30 p.m. on Friday, July 12, Saturday, July 13, Friday, July 19, and Saturday, July 20.

Central Professor of Physics Dr. Kendal Clark, along with members of the Central Missouri Astronomical Association and CMU students, will conduct the viewing sessions, provide tours, and comment on historical highlights of the facility.

“July 20 is the 50th anniversary of the first man on the moon, with the Apollo 11 lunar landing,” Clark said. “We plan to have some information and videos playing in the classroom about the landing.”

Hands-on activities will be provided and visitors will be able to use the telescopes for viewing, weather permitting, according to Clark. The Morrison Observatory features a 12¼-inch Clark refractor and a 10-inch reflecting telescope.

The Observatory was originally located in Glasgow and it was acquired by CMU in 1927 before moving to its current location in 1935. It is located at 504 Park Road in northwestern Fayette, across from the Fayette City Park and swimming pool.

Directions: Exit west on Besgrove Street from the intersection of Highways 5 and 240, and go approximately two blocks to Park Road and turn left; the Observatory is on the right, just a short distance from the turn.

For additional information about the Observatory, viewing sessions, or directions, contact Clark, preferably by e-mail, at kwclark@centralmethodist.edu or by calling 660-248-6383.