In connection with the partnership between Jefferson College and the St. Louis Astronomical Society (SLAS) to develop an astronomical observatory in phases on the Hillsboro campus, the College will host several observation nights for those who want to learn more about astronomy.
The College is already using the undeveloped site as a teaching and learning opportunity for students enrolled in science and astronomy classes in connection with lab assignments and in-class discussions.
Additionally, the public is invited to look through telescopes provided by the College, SLAS, and amateur astronomers to learn more about this exciting new development for everyone in Jefferson County and the surrounding region.
The educational events, called “Star Parties,” are free and open to all ages. Each observation night will be held at the Jefferson College Observatory site, located near the Softball Field on the Hillsboro campus, accessible from Jefferson College Drive. All events will be held on Sunday evenings, weather permitting.
Star Party dates include:
- February 9, 7-10 p.m.
- March 8, 7-10 p.m.
- April 5, 8-11 p.m.
- May 3, 8-11 p.m.
- June 7, 8:30-11:30 p.m.
- July 5, 8:30-11:30 p.m.
- August 9, 8:30-11:30 p.m.
- September 6, 8-11 p.m.
- October 4, 7-10 p.m.
- November 8, 7-10 p.m.
- December 6, 7-10 p.m.
Those who attend may bring their own astronomy equipment or use a limited number of telescopes provided.
For the events event to occur, skies must be clear or only partly cloudy. In case of inclement weather, particular events will be cancelled and not rescheduled. For cancellation information, visit the Jefferson College Observatory Facebook page at www.facebook.com/JCObservatory/ or the St. Louis Astronomical Society website at www.slasonline.org/observatory.
For questions or additional information about Star Parties, contact Jefferson College Physical Science Instructor Maryanne Angliongto at 636-481-3318 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
From St. Louis, travel South on Highway 21 to the Jefferson College/Hayden Road exit. Turn right onto Hayden Road and then left onto Jefferson College Drive. Farm Road will be approximately one-quarter mile on the right.
The observatory’s purpose is to engage the community to learn more about the science of astronomy and physics. It will become the first public observatory in Jefferson County affiliated with SLAS. Regular stargazing and solar viewing events for the public will be hosted by Jefferson College and SLAS. A variety of events such as eclipses, transits, comets, and meteor showers are expected to draw large audiences. Educators and students of K-12 schools will be encouraged to make use of the observatory for educational projects.
The observatory will be developed in phases over several years as funding is secured. Project funds will be raised from public donations, grants, and corporate sponsors. Project rollout will be determined by available funding for each phase.