Monday, April 30, 2001

Observatory offers classes

Participants will use historic telescope

By Jenny Callison
Enquirer Contributor

        Want to investigate the mysteries of the night sky? The Cincinnati Observatory, known as the birthplace of American astronomy, is offering a series of three classes next month for adults who'd like to be on a first-name basis with the likes of Orion, Cassiopeia or the Twins.

        Whether gazing at the moon or learning the habits of planets, class participants will get to use the Mitchel telescope, the oldest operational telescope in America.

        “It's a refractor, with a lens at the top. You look through the bottom,” said Dean Regas, the observatory's outreach teacher.

        He noted that most people are familiar with reflector telescopes, which use mirrors.

        The classes begin Tuesday with additional sessions May 8 and May 15. Class times are 7:30-9:30 p.m.:

        • The first class is “The Marvelous Moon.”

        • The second, which meets at Wolf Planetarium in Burnet Woods, is “Finding Your Way Around the Night Sky” and combines mythology and science.

        • The final class, “Telescopes and Much More,” is held at the observatory and introduces participants to a variety of equipment.

        “"We find these classes are really helpful for teachers, because they get lesson ideas,” Mr. Regas said.

        Cost for the three classes is $45. Participants must register by Tuesday. For more information, call the observatory at (513) 321-5186.


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