Montgomery College's astronomical observatory, located on the roof of the Rockville Science Center, is used as part of the astronomy course curriculum and for student research, as well as for education and public outreach projects.
The observatory provides innovative and engaging experiences, including public astronomical viewing events, classes and workshops for the college and local community, observatory tours, displays, and presentations.
We seek to inform and inspire the public and college community about the foundations and frontiers of modern astronomy, to spark and sustain public interest in astronomy and science, and to enhance science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and encourage the next generation of STEM students.
The observatory has two 14-inch Celestron (CGE PRO 1400 HD) telescopes inside a rolling roof structure as well as piers for three 8-inch Celestron (CPC 800 GPS) telescopes surrounding the observatory. The roof-top area also has open space for the set up of portable telescopes and tripod mounted binoculars.
Additional instrumentation includes CCD cameras, photometry equipment, spectrometer, and filters for solar observing (white light and H-alpha). The observatory also has specialized scopes for solar observing, including a Coronado SolarMax 90 and Coronado PST.
During Observatory Guest Nights, we welcome the public to the observatory to view and learn about visible solar system objects, star clusters, and nebulae. We also spend some time looking at the sky with just our eyes in order to locate constellations and planets that can be seen this time of the year. You'll leave with a star chart and the ability to find celestial objects on your own. Astronomy faculty will be on hand to answer questions about the universe. Find upcoming events and registernew window.