The 26th Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium of the Keck Northeast Astronomy Consortium (KNAC) was held at Williams College on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015, and Wesleyan was well represented! Six students presented results of their summer research: Julian Dann, Aylin Garcia Soto, Cail Daley, and Girish Duvvuri gave oral presentations while Rachel Aronow and Avi Stein presented a poster. Several other students came along to enjoy the weekend, which featured a dinner and social event on Friday night, the seminar on Saturday and breakout sessions on such topics as Inclusive Astronomy and how/why to program in Python. Over 100 students and professors from KNAC attended and a good time was had by all!
Last night the Astronomy faculty and staff were treated to spectacular views of our favorite objects through the fully refurbished 20-inch Clark refractor! The telescope performed flawlessly and views of the Ring Nebula, Andromeda, Uranus, a couple of globular clusters, Albireo, etc. were breathtaking. The computer control quickly and accurately slews the telescope to objects selected by name, seamlessly flipping it to the appropriate side of the pier. It is a wonder to watch and to look through. The telescope will be open to the public on Homecoming Weekend and we will be establishing a regular schedule of public events with it in the months to come. Congratulations and many thanks to Roy Kilgard and Fred Orthlieb for seeing this all through! Thanks also to our many generous donors and supporters inside and outside the University.