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Friday, December 14 , 2018, 10:05 am | Fair 54º


Westmont Hosting Public Viewing of Moon Craters

Head to the observatory on Aug. 20 for a peek through the Keck Telescope

Westmont College’s powerful Keck Telescope will be available for a free, public viewing on Friday, Aug. 20, at the observatory near the soccer and baseball fields.

People generally begin lining up for the first glimpse through the 24-inch reflector telescope after sunset, about 8 p.m.

Tom Whittemore, Westmont physics instructor, said the 12-day-old moon, located in Sagittarius, will dominate the sky to the south at sunset. That means many cratered features on the moon will be in view, including the fascinating crater Gassendi.

“M15, a globular cluster in Pegasus, will be a target, as well as a number of open clusters in Cassiopeia and Cepheus, both well up in the north,” he said. “My plan will be to target a number of objects not caught in the glow of the moon, including the magnificent Andromeda Galaxy, M31 and a host of planetary nebulae and open clusters overhead in Cygnus.”

Westmont serves as one of the public observing sites for the Santa Barbara Astronomical Unit every third Friday of the month. Members of the SBAU also bring their telescopes to the public viewing, which lasts for several hours.

Free parking is available near the baseball field.

— Scott Craig is the media relations manager for Westmont College.


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