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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 2021 sky almanac.

January 2021

Evening Sky in the west at Sunset

  • 2021 Jan 21 08:50 Opposition of the asteroid 15 Eunomia with the Sun (dist. to the Sun = 2.559 AU; magn. = 8.5)
  • 2021 Jan 20 Close encounter between Mars and Moon (separation 6°)
  • 2021 Jan 20 Close encounter between Mars and Uranus (separation 1.6°)
  • 2021 Jan 23 Close encounter between the Moon and Aldebaran (separation 4.4°)
  • 2021 Jan 24 GREATEST EASTERN ELONGATION of Mercury sep.(18.6°)
  • 2021 Jan 25 Close encounter between the Moon and M 35 (sep. 18 arc minutes)
  • 2021 Jan 30 Close encounter between the Moon and Regulus

February

Evening Sky in the south and west

  • 2021 Feb 13 Moon is 4.4° left of Neptune, low in west at sunset
  • 2021 Feb 17 Moon is 3.5° left of Uranus
  • 2021 Feb 18 Moon and Mars are 3.7° separation
  • 2021 Feb 23 Fat Gibbous Moon is 3.9° below Pollux
  • 2021 Feb 24 Near Full Moon is 2.1°above M 44

March

Evening

  • 2021 Mar 04 Close encounter between Mars and the Pleiades, (separation 2.4°)

Morning east horizon low on horizon before sunrise, difficult

  • 2021 Mar 06 GREATEST WESTERN ELONGATION of Mercury (27.3°)
  • 2021 Mar 06 Close encounter between Mercury, 01.mag and Jupiter, -2 mag (separation 0.6°)

Evening

  • 2021 Mar 19 Close encounter between the Moon and Mars, separation = 3.0°
  • 2021 Mar 25 Close encounter between the Moon and Regulus (separation 4.5°)

April

Morning

  • 2021 04 03 05:46 The Moon and M 8, 1.6° separation
  • 2021 06 05:46 The Moon and Saturn, 4.7° separation

Evening

  • 2021 04 17 21:13 The Moon and M 35, 0.6° separation

Morning

  • 2021 04 26 04:25 The Moon and Spica, 4.9° separation
  • 2021 04 27 02:44 Mars and M 35, 0.5° separation
  • 2021 04 29 04:46 The Moon and Antares, 3.7° separation

May

Morning in East before sunrise

  • 2021 05 03 The Moon and Saturn are 4.3° apart
  • 2021 05 04 The Moon and Jupiter are 9.5° apart
  • 2021 05 05 Meteor shower : Eta Aquarids (50 meteors/hour at zenith)

Evening at Sunset in West

  • 2021 05 07 Mercury (Mag -0.5) is 4° from the Pleiades, and 8° above Venus (mag -4.0)
  • 2021 05 12 Moon and Venus 1.0° apart
  • 2021 05 13 Moon and Mercury 2.3° apart
  • 2021 04 15 Moon and Mars 3.0° apart
  • 2021 05 16 Moon and the star Pollux(1.1 mag.) 3.3° apart
  • 2021 05 17 GREATEST EASTERN ELONGATION of Mercury (21.9°)
  • 2021 05 17 Moon and M 44 2.1° apart
  • 2021 05 28 Mercury and Venus 0.4° apart

Morning in East before sunrise

  • 2021 05 31 Moon and Saturn 5.3° apart

Evening at Sunset in West

  • 2021 05 31 Mars (1.7 mag) and Pollux (1.1 mag) 5.3° apart

June

Evening

  • 2021 06 04 Venus and M 35 are 0.1° apart
  • 2021 06 11 Moon and Venus are 3.5° apart
  • 2021 06 13 Moon and Mars 2.4° apart
  • 2021 06 15 Moon and Regulus 3.9° apart
  • 2021 06 19 Moon and Spica 5.0° apart
  • 2021 06 21 Venus and Pollux 5.0° apart
  • 2021 06 22 Moon and Antares 4.2° apart
  • 2021 06 22 Mars is on the right edge of M 44
  • 2021 06 23 Mars is within the center of M 44
  • 2021 06 24 Mars outside of M 44

Late Evening (Midnight)

  • 2021 06 27 Moon and Saturn 4.6° apart
  • 2021 06 28 Moon and Jupiter 10° apart , Moon and Saturn 12° apart
  • 2021 06 28 Jupiter 19° apart from Saturn 12°(forms a nice triangle)

July

Morning before sunrise Sunrise

  • 2021 07 08 Moon and Mercury 4.4° apart
  • Evening at sunset
  • 2021 07 09 to 07 16 Venus and Mars dance around each other.
  • 2021 07 11 Moon and Mars 5.2° apart
  • 2021 07 12 Moon and Venus (-3.9 mag.) 6.3° apart
  • 2021 07 12 Mars (1.8 mag.) and Venus 0.5° apart

Evening before midnight

  • 2021 07 24 Moon and Saturn 7.0° apart
  • 2021 07 25 Moon and Jupiter 4.8° apart

August

Evening Sky in the West

  • 2021 08 02 OPPOSITION of Saturn

Evening Sky in the East

  • 2021 08 18 Mercury and Mars = 0.1° apart

Evening Sky in the West

  • 2021 08 19 OPPOSITION of Jupiter (in the shadow of the Earth)
  • 2021 08 21 Moon and Jupiter 5.3° apart

September

Morning Sky before sunrise

  • Sept 01 Moon and M 35 0.9° apart

Evening Sky in west at sunset

  • Sept 09 Moon and Venus 4.5° apart

Evening looking East

  • Sept 10 Opposition of the asteroid 2 Pallas mag. 8.5
  • Evening Sky in west at sunset
  • Sept 12 Moon and Antares 3.2° apart
  • Sept 13 GREATEST EASTERN ELONGATION of Mercury (26.6°) poor Elevation

Evening looking South

  • Sept 16 Moon and Saturn 5.2° apart
  • Sept 17 Moon and Jupiter 5.7° apart

October

Evening looking southwest sky at sunset

  • Oct 09 Moon and Venus 2.1° apart

Evening looking south

  • Oct 13 Moon and Saturn 6.1° apart
  • Oct 14 Moon and Jupiter 7.5° apart
  • Oct 21 02:17 Meteor shower : Orionids (20 meteors/hour at zenith)

Evening looking east

  • Oct 23 21:01 Moon and Aldebaran 5.5° apart

Morning looking East before sunrise

  • Oct 25 00:00 GREATEST WESTERN ELONGATION of Mercury (18.3°) High Good

Evening looking south west at sunset

  • Oct 29 12:00 GREATEST EASTERN ELONGATION of Venus (46.9°) Low

November

Evening in East

  • 2021 11 04 OPPOSITION of Uranus

Evening looking south

  • 2021 11 10 Moon and Saturn 6.0° apart
  • 2021 11 11 Moon and Jupiter 5.1° apart

Evening in East

  • 2021 11 23 Moon and Pollux 3.0° apart
  • 2021 11 27 Opposition of Ceres magn. = 7.0

December

Evening looking west at sunset

  • Nov 06 Moon and Venus 3.5° apart
  • Nov 07 Moon and Saturn 5.7° apart
  • Nov 08 Moon and Jupiter 7.3° apart

Evening after midnight

  • Nov 21 Moon and Pollux 2.9° apart
  • Nov 24 Moon and Regulus 4.4° apart

Evening looking west at sunset

  • Nov 28 Mercury and Venus 4.2° 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.