Published on March 31st, 2020 | by Natural Awakenings Northern New Jersey0
WILLIAM D. MCDOWELL OBSERVATORY
The William D. Mcdowell Observatory, Three DeKorte Park Plaza, Lyndhurst, recently announced that the facility would now be open every Wednesday from 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. The state-of-the-art Observatory features a research-grade, Classical-Cassegrain telescope housed within a six-meter retractable dome with a 20-inch mirror. The Observatory is operated by astronomers from Bergen Community College.
The telescope has several special filters designed to help minimize the effects of the area’s light pollution and is capable of viewing objects millions of light years away. The precision instrument also includes specialized cameras to photograph various astronomical objects, a photometer to measure the brightness of stars and study how they vary over time, and a spectroscope to analyze wavelengths of light to determine the chemical composition of light-emitting objects.
The Observatory regularly publishes a viewing schedule which is available on line. The celestial bodies most easily visible during April includes our moon, Venus, Sirius, Pleiades, and the Orion nebula. The list of objects listed online for each date can be modified due to viewing conditions and position to the horizon. Check the sky as well as the NJSEA.com website before you visit.
The Observatory makes for a great family event, and all ages are welcome. Twenty-five people may occupy the Observatory at any one time. Entry is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Check-in is at the Science Center adjacent to the Observatory.
Note: In order to access the observatory telescope, a visitor must be able to climb 25 steps (nine steps, a landing, 16 steps) in a spiral formation. The stairs have a railing on either side, with the railings approximately 2 feet apart. Please contact the Meadowlands Environment Center offices at least one week prior to visiting to request disability related accommodations.
William D. McDowell Observatory, Center for Environmental & Scientific Education, Three DeKorte Park Plaza, Lyndhurst, 201-460-8300. NJSEA.com.