See the sun in the morning and the moon…at noon?

In 1609, Galileo made the first recorded astronomical observations with a telescope. To mark the 400th anniversary, the Air and Space Museum has opened a public observatory.

The observatory, only steps from the National Mall, contains a 16-inch, 3,000-pound Boller and Chivens telescope, on loan from the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, where it was previously used for research at Harvard’s Oak Ridge Observatory. Through the telescope, visitors will be able to view the sun (with a special filter), the moon and the brighter stars and planets, such as Venus, Jupiter and Saturn, during daylight hours.

The Public Observatory, on the museum’s East Terrace, will be open to the public Tuesdays through Sundays, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., weather permitting.

Posted: 2 October 2009
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