Sunday, May 15, 2011

Golden Pond Planetarium and Observatory

One of the state's best-kept astronomy secrets is the Golden Pond Planetarium and Observatory, located at the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area.

The observatory is home to the West Kentucky Amateur Astronomers, who hold meetings on each Saturday closest to the New Moon. The public is invited to attend these meetings. For a complete schedule of WKAA meetings, consult their calendar of events.

General observing at the Golden Pond observatory is done through a 17.5" Dobsonian and two 8" Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes, but also houses a 12.5" custom-built Newtonian telescope that is set up for astro-photography, and there is also a 4.5" refractor set up for Hydrogen-Alpha viewing of the sun.

The planetarium offers exciting regular programs such as Two Small Pieces of Glass (a live documentary on the history of the telescope) and Journey to the Edge of Space and Time, which takes the audience on a journey through celestial objects such as black holes as galaxy clusters.

It's all overseen by the Friends of LBL who could certainly use your donations, membership, and volunteerism.

Photo above: NGC 3628, taken by WKAA member Jay McNeil.

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