From Seth Redfield, Professor of Astronomy:
Mae Jemison is the 2016 Sturm Lecturer and will be giving a public
lecture next Tuesday, April 19th at 8pm in the Ring Family Performing
Arts Hall (formerly the CFA Hall). Her talk is entitled, “Exploring
the Frontiers of Science and Human Potential”. She is a former
astronaut, served in the Peace Corp, is a physician by training,
majored in engineering and African and Afro-American Studies at
Stanford, is a fierce advocate for STEM education, and is currently
leading the 100 Year Starship Project… and that is just some of the
things she has done.
Bring your friends, family, and classmates. There will be a reception
following the public lecture at the Observatory (and the telescopes
will be open if it is clear).
Date: Tuesday, April 19
Place: Ring Family Performing Arts Hall
From Professor of Astronomy Seth Redfield:
Mae Jemison is the 2016 Sturm Lecturer and will be giving a public lecture next Tuesday, April 19th at 8pm in the Ring Family Performing Arts Hall (formerly the CFA Hall). Her talk is entitled, “Exploring the Frontiers of Science and Human Potential”. She is a former astronaut, served in the Peace Corp, is a physician by training, majored in engineering and African and Afro-American Studies at Stanford, is a fierce advocate for STEM education, and is currently leading the 100 Year Starship Project… and that is just some of the things she has done.
Bring your friends, family, and classmates. There will be a reception following the public lecture at the Observatory (and the telescopes will be open if it is clear).
Date: Tuesday, April 19
Time: 8:00-9:30 PM
Place: Ring Family Performing Arts Hall
Click to find out more
From Michaela Fisher ’17:
Interested in astronomy and/or the histories of astronomy and education? Want to party in the Van Vleck Observatory? As part of a series of events celebrating the observatory’s centennial, we are honoring the 143rd birthday of Frederick Slocum, Van Vleck’s first director, this Saturday, February 6th at 7 p.m..
Along with snacks and refreshments, Research Associate Professor of Astronomy Roy Kilgard and Professor of History Amrys Williams will be recreating a 1916-era public astronomy lecture in period attire using original lantern slides and projector from the observatory’s collections. A Q&A session will follow the lecture, and if the conditions permit, the newly restored 20” refracting telescope will be open for observing!
Date: Saturday, February 6
Place: The Van-Vleck Observatory
From Stephanie Ling ’16:
Do you have a fascination with space? Would you like to have a chance to learn about and look through Wesleyan’s telescopes without having to take an astronomy class?
Stop by Van Vleck Observatory on Saturday night! If the viewing conditions are clear, members of the Astronomical Society of Greater Hartford (ASGH) will be hosting their last free public observing night of 2015. Join us for a look at the moon, globular clusters, planets, nebula, and even other galaxies!
For more information about the event, check out the ASGH’s website,
Date: Saturday, December 5th
Place: Van Vleck Observatory
If you’re into Star Wars or Despicable Me or that one movie with Sandra Bullock, you’d be into this cool thing the Astronomy department is doing: public observing nights!
Via their official flyer:
Starting on February 4th, the Van Vleck Observatory at Wesleyan University will open its doors to the public every Wednesday night, rain or shine, for a series of space nights. Come talk to students and faculty about the latest space-related discoveries by scientists at Wesleyan and around the world. For the spring semester, the events will begin with a half-hour presentation followed by a chance to see the sky through Wesleyan’s telescopes (weather permitting). Space nights are intended to be for visitors of all ages, although the talks are primarily aimed at high school level and above.
And now, some real Roth photos taken from our very own Van Vleck Observatory.
Alex Irace ’15 is asking the important questions:
The Astronomy Department has invited Professor C. Megan Urry, the President of the American Astronomical Society and the Director of the Yale Center for Astronomy & Astrophysics, to speak at the annual Sturm Memorial Lecture this year. She will address sexism and gender equity in astronomy, science, and academia more generally. Urry is not only an expert in this field, but she is also notably the first tenured female faculty member in the history of Yale’s Physics Department.
Poster says it all!
Alex Irace ’15 invites you to a tea party in the Astronomy Library:
- Date: February 13
- Time: 4:00-6:30 PM
- Place: Astronomy Library
Courtesy of Katherine Ly ’15:
Wesleyan Women in Science presents: Stargazing & Hot Chocolate with Astronomer Meredith Hughes!
Join us for a night of stargazing, hot chocolate, and great company. Stargazing will be from 7:30 to 8:30 PM with hot chocolate and conversation before and after in the Astronomy Library.
People of all genders & majors are welcome!
RSVP to Maureen Snow (msnow[at]wesleyan[dot]edu)
Date: Tuesday, October 29th, 2013
Time: 7:00 – 9:00 PM
Place: Astronomy Library
Craig Malamut ’12 tells us that homeboy and Nobel Laureate Adam Riess is lecturing on dark energy.
The Wesleyan Astronomy Department is having its annual Sturm Memorial
Lecture! This year’s distinguished speaker is Nobel laureate Dr. Adam
In 1929 Edwin Hubble discovered that our Universe is expanding. Eighty
years later, the Space Telescope which bears his name is being used to
study an even more surprising phenomenon, that the expansion is
speeding up. Dr. Riess will describe how his team discovered the
acceleration of the Universe and why understanding the nature of dark
energy presents one of the greatest remaining challenges in
astrophysics and cosmology.
Dr. Riess is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a leader
in the field of observational cosmology. In 2011, he was named a
co-winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics.
Reception and telescope viewing at the Van Vleck Observatory to follow
For more information, click here.
Date: Today, April 18
Time: 7:30 PM
Observatory Hall in an undated photo vs. where PAC/Harriman stands today; PAC seems to be set further away from Brownstone Row and a little further from Andrus Field
By 1927, when Harriman Hall was built, Van Vleck Observatory Hall had already gone up, housing what is still Connecticut’s largest telescope. The construction occurred largely due to donations from Henry Ingraham Harriman ’95 (that’s 1895) in memory of his father, Daniel G. Harriman ’54, who spent the first two years of his college career in the hall that had previously occupied the site. Along with Olin Library, which was completed around the same time, Harriman Hall was the first building on campus to be finished in “Harvard” brick rather than the brownstone of Van Vleck and Clark. An alumni newsletter connected this choice to admiration of a certain other New England institution: “It will be built of brick and marble, like the Library, rather than of brownstone, like Clark Hall; and the wood pilasters and roof coping will be painted white like that of the Library, and like the new buildings of the Harvard School of Business.” The Olin history website, however, has a more prosaic take on this choice of materials; they write that by 1925, all the local brownstone quarries had apparently been exhausted or closed.
There is little information left on what life in Harriman Hall was like. The interior sounds swaggy—it was trimmed in oak with maple floors in the rooms—and I wonder why it’s all gone now. Only the infamous marble bathrooms on the fourth floor of PAC remain. In opposition to Observatory Hall, which was one of the most inexpensive dorms to live in, Harriman Hall was considered expensive and luxurious, with an electric light in every closet.