Wheaton College Observatory News
In its trip around the Sun comet ISON disintegrated. A diffuse cloud of gas and dust appeared on the other side of the sun, but within a couple of days it was too dim to be seen, even with large telescopes. For more information about what happened to Comet ISON, see this article on space.com: RIP Comet ISON: Scientists Declare Famous 'Sungrazer' Dead After Sun Encounter >>
The long awaited comet ISON, forecasted to be very bright, is finally living up to its expectations. Last week, around November 14, an outburst took place with brightened the comet significantly, so that it is now visible with binoculars, and under really good circumstances, maybe with the naked eye. With only one week until perihelion (the closest distance to the sun, on November 28, 2013) the comet is, however, becoming increasingly difficult to detect and will soon disappear in the glow of the sun. If the comet survives its close encounter with the sun, it will become visible again in the first or second week of December. As comets are notoriously difficult to predict, no-one knows how the comet will look like at that time, with predictions ranging from hardly visible to very bright with a long trail. If the comet puts on a good show in the first and second week of December, the Wheaton College Observatory will open its doors to give everyone an opportunity to see the comet. Updates will be posted on our website and on our facebook page. Stay tuned!
On October 12, 2013 the Wheaton College Observatory opened its doors for the public for the occasion of the international Astronomy Day. Several telescopes were set up and pointed the moon, the famous Andromeda Galaxy and the colorful binary star Albireo. The new 24-inch telescope in the dome was open for viewing as well. With about 450 visitors, this was one of busiest events ever!
On October 12, 2013 the Wheaton College Observatory opens its doors for the public for the occasion of the international Astronomy Day. Several telescopes will be set up and pointed at various objects in the sky, including the moon, the famous Andromeda Galaxy, colorful binary stars and beautiful star clusters. You even might have the opportunity to see the planets Uranus and Neptune. The new 24-inch telescope in the dome will be open for viewing as well. The observatory will be open from 8PM to 10PM and is located at the fourth floor of the Meyer Science Center on the campus of Wheaton College.
Only a couple of days until Venus transits the face of the Sun. You can witness this rare event from the Wheaton College Observatory through several of our telescopes. The weather forecast looks good, and so we will be open from 4:30pm till sunset (8:27PM). This event if free for the public, and everyone is welcome, families and children included.