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Clark Refractor Telescope

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

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 at Keystone College 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.

Photo of a red colored moon links to Minor Planet Project

Minor Planet Project

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

Observatory Fall Public Viewing Program

The Keystone College Thomas G. Cupillari ’60 Observatory programs offer an observation of the night sky through the telescopes. The scheduled programs are provided as a community service and are free of charge. No registration required.

September 23–November 20, 2020

The Thomas G. Cupillari ’60 Astronomical Observatory will begin its fall program on Wednesday, September 23 at 8 p.m. and will continue each Wednesday and Friday evening through Friday, November 20.

Participants will be able to observe Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, the Moon, double stars, star clusters, nebulae, galaxies, and the Milky Way through telescopes.

Open to the public and free of charge, the sessions will be held outdoors or in unheated buildings and visitors should dress for outdoor temperatures. The sessions will be canceled due to overcast skies, rain, or snow and visitors should check the weather before traveling to the Observatory.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all visitors must wear masks and follow social distancing guidelines while visiting the Observatory. The Observatory is unable to accommodate large groups and cannot welcome special group nights at this time.

The Observatory is located at the intersection of Route 107 and Hack Road in Fleetville, a short distance from the College’s main campus. It is approximately two miles west on Route 107 from Interstate 81 exit 202 and approximately two mile east of Fleetville on Route 107. Once visitors turn onto Hack Road, the Observatory is almost immediately to the left.

Check out the 2020 sky almanac.

January 2020

Morning Sky, 30 minutes before Sunrise in the east (low on the horizon)

  • January: Rising higher each day in the morning sky are the planets are Mars, Jupiter and Saturn
  • Jan. 19 Moon and Jupiter 4 degrees apart

Evening Sky in the west after Sunset

  • Jan. 27 Moon and Venus 6 degrees apart

February 2020

Evening Sky in the west at Sunset

  • Feb. 10 Mercury Greatest Eastern Elongation, Diam=7″, Mag=-0.5

Morning Sky, 30 minutes before Sunrise in the east

Moon is 18 degrees above the horizon. Locate Moon well before sunrise to follow event in daylight sky.

  • Feb 18. 08:30 Crescent Moon occults Mars, First Contact,
  • Feb 18. 08:30 Crescent Moon occults Mars, Second Contact
  • Feb 18. 09:14 Crescent Moon occults Mars, Mid-occultation
  • Feb 18. 09:58 Crescent Moon occults Mars, Third Contact
  • Feb 18. 09:58 Crescent Moon occults Mars, Last Contact
  • Feb 20. Moon and Saturn 4 degrees apart

March 2020

Morning Sky, 1 hour before Sunrise low in the south east horizon

  • March 15 – 22 Mars move past Jupiter past Jupiter (very close passage)
  • March 18 Moon and Mars 2 degrees apart
  • March 18 Moon and Jupiter 2 degrees apart
  • March 18 Moon and Saturn 7 degrees apart
  • March 20 Mars and Jupiter 30 arcseconds apart (closest separation)
  • March 23 Mercury Greatest Western Elongation, Diam=7″, Mag=0.3

Evening Sky, very high in western sky at sunset

  • March 24 Venus Greatest Eastern Elongation, Diam=24″, Mag=-4.4

April 2020

Morning Sky, 2 hour before Sunrise in the south

  • April 15 Jupiter and Saturn 5.5 degrees apart
  • April 15 Moon and Jupiter 7 degrees apart
  • April 15 Moon and Saturn 3 degrees apart
  • April 15 Moon and Mars 9 degrees apart
  • April 15 Mars and Saturn 9.5 degrees apart
  • April 16 Moon and Mars 4 degrees apart

May 2020

Morning Sky, 2 hour before Sunrise in the south

  • May 12 Jupiter and Saturn 4 degrees apart
  • May 12 Moon and Saturn 6 degrees apart
  • May 12 Moon and Jupiter 3 degrees apart
  • May 14 Moon and Mars 9 degrees apart
  • May 15 Moon and Mars 4.5 degrees apart
  • May 15 Saturn and Jupiter 5 degrees apart

Evening Sky in the west at Sunset

  • May 24 Moon and Mercury 6 degrees apart (difficult at sunset)
  • May 24 Moon and Venus 11 degrees apart (difficult at sunset)
  • May 24 Mercury and Venus 6 degrees apart (difficult at sunset)

June 2020

Evening Sky, in West at sunset

  • June 4 Mercury Greatest Eastern Elongation, Diam=8″, Mag=0.6

Morning Sky, after midnight

  • June 8 Moon and Saturn 12 degrees apart
  • June 8 Jupiter and Saturn 5 degrees apart

Morning Sky, before Sunrise look southeast

  • June 13 Moon and Mars 5 degrees apart
  • June 13 Mars and Neptune 1.5 degrees apart

Morning Sky, 45 minutes before Sunrise look east

  • June 19 Moon and Venus 1 degree apart

Evening Sky in the west at Sunset

  • June 22 Moon and Mercury 9 degrees apart. Mercury low, high degree of difficulty

July 2020

Evening Sky, in the SSW sky before midnight

  • July 5 Full Moon and Saturn 4 degrees
  • July 5 Full Moon and Jupiter 5 degrees
  • July 5 Full Moon and Jupiter 5 degrees

Morning Sky, before sunrise in SSW sky

  • July 12 3rd Quarter Moon and Mars 6 degrees apart

Morning Sky, before sunrise in the East

  • July 17 Thin Crescent Moon and Venus 3 degrees apart
  • July 18 Moon and Mercury 3 degrees apart
  • July 22 Mercury Greatest Western Elongation, Diam=8″, Mag=0.3

August 2020

Evening Sky, in the SSW sky before midnight

  • Aug. 1 Moon and Jupiter 3 degrees apart

Morning Sky, after midnight

  • Aug. 9 Moon and Mars 1.2 degrees apart
  • Aug. 11-12 Perseids peak Moon interferes early evening, better after Midnight.
  • Aug. 12 Venus Greatest Western Elongation, Diam=24″, Mag=-4.3
  • Aug. 13 Moon occults Epsilon Tauri (3.5 mag.) Ingress 1:25 am, Egress 2:08 am

Evening Sky, in the SSW sky before midnight

  • Aug. 28 Saturn and Jupiter 8 degrees apart
  • Aug. 28 Moon and Jupiter 2.3 degrees apart
  • Aug. 29 Moon and Saturn 5 degrees apart

September 2020

Evening Sky, in the ESE sky before midnight

  • Sept. 5 Moon and Mars 0.5 degrees apart (very close)

Morning Sky, 1 hour before Sunrise in the east

  • Sept. 14 Moon and Venus 5 degrees apart

Evening Sky, in the SSW sky early evening

  • Sept. 24 Saturn and Jupiter 7 degrees apart
  • Sept. 24 Moon and Jupiter 5 degrees apart
  • Sept. 25 Moon and Saturn 3 degrees apart

October 2020

Evening Sky, in the ESE sky early evening

  • Oct. 1 Mercury Greatest Eastern Elongation, Diam=7″, Mag=0.1 (very, very low on horizon)
  • Oct. 2 Moon and Mars 1.2 degrees apart (close)

Morning Sky, 1 hour before Sunrise in the east

  • Oct. 13 Crescent Moon and Venus 8 degrees apart
  • Oct. 14 Crescent Moon and Venus 6 degrees apart

Evening Sky, in the SSW sky early evening

  • Oct. 23 Saturn and Jupiter 6 degrees apart
  • Oct. 23 Moon and Jupiter 4 degrees apart
  • Oct. 23 Moon and Saturn 4 degrees apart
  • Oct. 29 Moon and Mars 4 degrees apart

November 2020

Morning Sky, 1 hour before Sunrise in the east

  • Nov. 10 Mercury Greatest Western Elongation, Diam=7″, Mag=-0.5 (low altitude)
  • Nov. 10 Mercury and Venus 13 degrees apart
  • Nov. 12 Crescent Moon and Venus 7 degrees apart
  • Nov. 13 Moon and Mercury 5 degrees apart

Evening Sky, in the SSW sky early evening

  • Nov. 19 Saturn and Jupiter 4.5 degrees apart
  • Nov. 19 Moon and Jupiter 7 degrees apart
  • Nov. 19 Moon and Saturn 5 degrees apart
  • Nov. 25 Moon and Mars 4 degrees apart

Morning Sky in the west, more that half of the Moon in Penumbra

  • Nov. 30 03:31 Lunar Eclipse, Enter Penumbra,
  • Nov. 30 04:25 Lunar Eclipse, Penumbra First Visible
  • Nov. 30 05:44 Lunar Eclipse, Mid-eclipse
  • Nov. 30 07:02 Lunar Eclipse, Penumbra Last Visible
  • Nov. 30 07:55 Lunar Eclipse, Exit Penumbra

December 2020

Morning Sky, 1 hour before Sunrise in the east

  • Dec. 12 18:01 Crescent Moon and Venus 4 degrees apart

Evening Sky, in the SSW sky early evening

  • Dec. 17 Saturn and Jupiter 0.5 degrees apart (very close)
  • Dec. 17 Thin Crescent Moon and Jupiter 9 degrees apart
  • Dec. 17 Thin Crescent Moon and Saturn 9 degrees apart
  • Dec. 23 Moon and Mars 5 degrees apart

Will the sky be clear at the observatory?

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

Hack Rd, Dalton, PA 18414 – GPS Coordinates: 41.5965 – 75.6780

The Observatory is located in Fleetville, PA, a short distance from the College’s main campus in La Plume. It is conveniently located near Interstate 81, at the intersection of Route 107 and Hack Road.

From Interstate 81, take exit 202 onto Route 107 West towards Fleetville. Travel 1.8 miles and turn left onto Hack Road. Observatory entrance 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 is on your left

Print local map.

Observatory comet streaking night sky

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.