New Website, New Buildings, and Comets!

on Wednesday, 06 March 2013. Posted in Observatory Articles

Following our name change last year, the Oregon Observatory's new website is now up and running. Many thanks to BN Branding for their work and continuing help to make our site looking good and working properly.

In addition to our new virtual look, you may notice our new physical look. Behind the Observatory are two new storage sheds. These two structures are mounted on wheels and rails so the entire structure can roll away. The sheds will be housing our new 20-inch StarMaster Newtonian telescope donated by Dennis Martin, and our new 30-inch Newtonian telescope generously donated by the Matthews family this summer.

Meteors have been big news lately, the estimated 10,000-ton meteor that exploded over Russia caused incredible damage. Closer to home however, a bright fireball was seen over La Pine that has Lynn Carroll, a member of the Oregon Observatory staff, as well as some other regional experts looking at the possibility that pieces might have survived. If you have any information or saw the object, let us know.

The meteors may have hit the Earth, but there are a couple other celestial wanderers making their way through our solar system that are much larger, but will stay at a safe distance. Comet PanSTARRS finally makes it's way into the Northern hemisphere this March, and will continue it's jaunt north through spring. Later this year, Comet ISON is expected to surpass PanSTARRS in brightness. In fact it may even surpass the bright full moon (though comets are notably finnicky objects). One thing is for sure, the close proximity of Comet ISON's path to the Sun promises a once in a lifetime experience.

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