New Dome Caps Off Science Center

The dome for the new Peter van de Kamp Observatory literally capped off the College's LEED-certified Science Center when it was installed this month. The facility, in which students will be able to pursue their own research projects, now just awaits the arrival of its 24"-telescope. "Not many telescopes of this size have the capability for spectroscopy as ours will, especially those at small liberal arts colleges," says Associate Professor of Astronomy David Cohen. "Eric Jensen [associate professor of astronomy] and I hope to have students using the spectrograph not only for research projects, but also as part of our department's advanced laboratory program for physics majors." Another main goal is for the Observatory to serve the broader off-campus community of astronomers. "In a couple years, students will be working with astronomers from around the country," Cohen says. The dome was made possible by a gift from an anonymous alumna, who named the Observatory for the beloved professor of astronomy and musician who served as director of the College Orchestra. The College also received support for the facility from the National Science Foundation. Music by Bear is Driving (Chris Conaway '02, guitar; Dan Consiglio '03, keyboard; Corey Mark '02, drums; Erik Osheim '03, bass)