As part of the roof renovation of the Geosciences building in summer 2013, a new Ash dome was installed for the Astronomy Group's telescope.
The Mt. Stony Brook Observatory is used for class demonstrations, the undergrad/grad astronomy lab course, and for outreach. It is equipped with
a Meade 14" LX-200 telescope, a SBIG CCD camera and a spectrograph.
The telescope is a key to the Astronomy Open Night lecture series. This year marks the 40th anniversary of
the series that is arguably the
longest running public lecture series at the University. "Open Nights at Stony Brook", as it was called originally,
began with the arrival of Comet Kohoutek. Tobias Owen, Deane Peterson, and Mike Simon put together a series of lectures for the
public on the comet shortly before it reached perihelion on December 28, 1973. Comet Kohoutek was a new comet,
and astronomers expected it to be quite bright when it passed by the Sun on perhaps its first visit to the inner solar system.
Unfortunately, the bright display never materialized. But the talks were such a hit that a series was formed.
We also may have a second chance: This year, comet ISON is supposed to be extremely bright, and is being called the "Comet of the Century"