WILLIAMSTOWN — Williams College invites families 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 the following Friday evenings at 8 p.m.: September 23, 30, October 7, 14, 21, 28, November 4, 11, 18 and December 2. 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.
Fall 2016 shows will be hosted by Williams College students Rececca Durst ’17, Sarah Stevenson ‘17, Diego Gonazlez ‘18 and Glen Gallik ’18. 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.
The Hopkins Observatory is on a small hill on the south 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.