Hopkins Observatory Announces Planetarium Schedule

Media contact: Noelle Lemoine, communications assistant; tele: (413) 597-4277; email: Noelle.Lemoine@williams.edu

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., January 25, 2013—Williams College invites you to experience the wonders of our universe at the Milham Planetarium, located inside the Old Hopkins Observatory at Williams College.

Astronomy students at the college will host free shows for the public on Friday evenings at 7:30 p.m. beginning on February 1 and running through May 3 with the exception of Spring Break March 15, March 22, and March 29. Audiences will be treated to shows from the high-precision Zeiss Skymaster ZKP3/B opto-mechanical planetarium projector, installed in April 2005.

The Zeiss Skymaster is capable of demonstrating phenomena including: retrograde motions of the planets, phases of the moon, the varying temperatures/colors of stars, locations of neighboring galaxies, the mythological figures and zodiacal signs ascribed to constellations, the Southern Hemisphere’s sky, comets, artificial satellites, and much more.

Spring 2013 shows will be hosted by Williams College students Muzhou Lu ’13, Connor Dempsey ’13, Pushpanjali Giri ’14, and Charles Baxter ’14. Field Memorial Professor of Astronomy, Jay Pasachoff, is Director of the Hopkins Observatory.

The Hopkins Observatory, built in 1836-38 by the first professor of astronomy at Williams College, Albert Hopkins, is the oldest extant observatory in the United States. Shows will last about 50 minutes.

For reservations (recommended) contact Michele Rech at (413) 597-2188 or email at mcr4@williams.edu. Others will be admitted as space permits. Large groups should call for special appointments.

The Hopkins Observatory is on a small hill on the north side of Main Street east of Spring Street in Williamstown and just east of Lawrence Hall Drive, on which planetarium patrons share parking with the Williams College Museum of Art.  A campus map showing the Hopkins Observatory’s location can be found on the web at www.williams.edu/map/or at 829 Main Street, Williamstown, MA in http://maps.google.com.

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For building locations on the Williams campus, please consult the map outside the driveway entrance to the Security Office located in Hopkins Hall on Main Street (Rte. 2), next to the Thompson Memorial Chapel, or call the Office of Communications (413) 597-4277. The map can also be found on the web at www.williams.edu/map

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