Clark Refractor Telescope

The heart of the astronomical observatory at Keystone College since 1973.

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Observatory at Keystone College

The Thomas G. Cupillari ’60 Observatory, located a short drive from our La Plume campus in Fleetville, PA, promotes an understanding of the night sky along with a general knowledge of astronomy for the Keystone College community and the general public.

Whether you’re taking an astronomy course or just interested in the night sky, the observatory offers a unique, hands-on learning experience. Observing the night sky and finding objects using a telescope will help open the wonders of the universe. Whatever your ambitions in astronomy, we can help you get started.

Public Viewing and Lecture Programs

Our programs offer an illustrated lecture, and if the sky is clear, observation of the night sky through the telescopes.

Objects that may be viewed include the Moon, the planets Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, and various double stars, star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies. The scheduled programs are provided as a community service and are free of charge.

Minor Planet Project

Thomas G. Cupillari Observatory ’60 has been issued an Observatory Code I17 designation from the Minor Planet Center.

Fall schedule: September 7 – November 18, 2016

Time: Opens at 7:30 p.m.

The fall series of public lectures and viewing sessions will be conducted every Wednesday, with a repeat of the session on Friday evening.

Groups Welcome

Due to limited seating, groups such as school classes, scouts, and community organizations must make an appointment for private lecture and observation on a night other than scheduled public viewing nights.

Check out the sky almanac.

October 2016

In the evening sky starting on Oct 5th the Moon will move past the planets Saturn and Mars, now evenly matched in brightness. The moon will start as a thin crescent phase and end the paring up o the 8th at First Quarter phase.

By the end of the month, look for the bright planet Venus (-4.4 mag.) at sunset. It will be in the same area of the sky as Saturn and only 3 degrees below the ringed planet.

November 2016

A better chance to see Saturn and Venus together is by using the crescent Moon at sunset on November 2nd. Saturn will be 3 degrees below the Moon on the 2nd, with brighter Venus some 5 degrees left of Saturn. The next evening the Moon will have traveled higher and Venus will be some 9 degrees lower right of the Moon. Should be a nice sight to see in the west at sunset.

The Moon will be above and 7 degrees right of Mars on November 5th, then 7 degrees left of Mars on November 6th.

In the morning sky a waning crescent the Moon will be 7 degrees above bright Jupiter (-1.2 mag). Then again the waning crescent Moon will be below and left of the planet Jupiter.

December 2016

With winter weather, now the planet Venus can be seen low in the southwest sky one hour after sunset. The crescent Moon will be 7 degrees above the bright -4.2 magnitude Venus in dark winter sky.

Higher up on the southwestern horizon is Jupiter at 0.7 magnitude. The Moon is 6 degrees lower right of Jupiter on the evening of December 4th, and then 6 degrees upper left of Jupiter on December 5th.

Will the sky be clear?

The clear sky chart numerical weather forecast is specifically designed for astronomers and will predict if the Thomas G. Cupillari ’60 Observatory will have good weather for astronomical observing. At a glance, the sky chart shows when it will be cloudy or clear for the next two days.

Astronomy compels the soul to look upwards and leads us from this world to another. ~Plato

Directions to the Observatory

The Observatory is located in Fleetville, PA, a short distance from the College’s main campus in La Plume. It is located at the intersection of Route 107 and Hack Road. To get to the Observatory from I-81, Take Exit 202 off 81 and head west towards Fleetville.

The Observatory is conveniently located near interstate 81. From I-81 take exit 202 onto Route 107 west towards Fleetville. Travel 1.8 miles and turn left onto Hack Road. Observatory entrance road is on your left.

From the College’s main campus in LaPlume, take Routes 6 & 11 West. to Route 107 West. Continue 7 miles then turn right onto Hack Road. Observatory entrance road is on your left.

Print local map.

All Sky Camera

TGC Observatory contributes to astronomy data by means of an All Sky camera to detect and capture images of fireball meteors and bolides. You can see whatever it does catch at Sky Sentinel Network.


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