Observing the Mees Observatory

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The Mees Observatory

I came into work today bright and early at 2:00 pm. No, I’m not late; today is field trip day!

Bob arranged for a visit to the Mees Observatory in Bristol, NY, today, and we are hoping to catch a glimpse at some stars. The observatory is named after C. E. Kenneth Mees, “in honor of his pioneering work in the development of sensitive photographic emulsions for use in astronomy.” This should be interesting.

Will update later.


The observatory was at the top of a large hill, which was tempting to roll down. We had DiBella’s for dinner (Thank You Bob!), and played soccer (on a slope) for a bit. After a very interesting presentation of Astronomy and its history, we took a look at the telescope itself and the process by which it is operated.

The telescope and the dome was very cool. Unfortunately, the skies were very cloudy and visibility was low. Our chances of seeing anything were very slim. After adjusting our eyes to the darkness in red light for about 10-15 minutes, we eventually did have some good luck. A “sucker spot” in the sky, or a gap in the clouds, allowed us to catch a glimpse of Mizar and Alcor of the Big Dipper, a stellar double star! In fact, Mizar and Alcor actually consist of 6 stars. Here’s kind of what we saw:

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And here is where we saw it:

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Neat Stuff

Also, there will be a meteor shower tomorrow. Unfortunately, we live in Rochester and so there will also be rain and clouds. Maybe next year!

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