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
If you’re on campus this dismal Tuesday afternoon and want to sight some Venus Transit Authority before it’s too late (according to EarthSky, the next transit of Venus won’t occur until 2117—that’s past even Martin Benjamin ’57’s lifespan), head over to Van
Wyngarden Vleck Observatory right now for some good old-fashioned staring into space. According to Middletown Patch, the observatory will be offering a live video stream of the event and resources regarding previous transits of Venus:
Even if the weather is cloudy, Wesleyan will still hold a celebration of Venus with live video streams of the transit in the observatory classroom, and a collection of rare books from the Special Collections and Archives at Wesleyan’s Olin Library with information about the 18th- and 19th-century transits of Venus.
The transit starts just past 6 p.m., and the observatory will be open beginning around 5:30 p.m. and running until 8:15 p.m. Information on parking can be found here.