Celebrate the 130th Birthday of the Observatory!
In 2013-2014, Albion College will celebrate the 130th anniversary of its 8” Alvan Clark refracting telescope and observatory building. Dedicated in 1883 and completed in 1884, the observatory is one of the few original surviving examples of nineteenth century astronomical buildings and instruments, which include the Alvan Clark refracting telescope and a Fauth and Company sidereal clock and transit telescope. Several times each year, the telescope is open to the public and to the campus community for public observing events.
To kick off anniversary celebrations, Bart Fried, president of the Antique Telescope Society, presented a talk about our telescope’s place in astronomical observation history in September. The talk is the first celebratory event for the year, and will be followed in October by the college’s Homecoming weekend themed “Albion and Beyond”, in homage to our students, our alumni, and our telescope. Also planned are public observing nights throughout the year, tours of the observatory, a steampunk ball for students, and another lecture in the spring to celebrate the 210th anniversary of the birth of Alvan Clark himself.
Nicolle Zellner (Physics) and Nicole Garrett Smeltekop (Library) had an article about the Alvan Clark telescope published in HAD News, the newsletter of the Historical Astronomy Division of the American Astronomical Society. The article can be found on page 6 at http://had.aas.org/hadnews/HADN83hires.pdf.