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Little Thompson Observatory

Berthoud directs an
eye to the sky

Janet Thayer
For the Vacation Guide

   BERTHOUD Stargazers have a chance to check out the night skies this summer at the Little Thompson Observatory in Berthoud.

   The observatory, 850 Spartan Ave., is open to the public and people can schedule a time for family and friends to get a closer look at the constellations.

   There is no cost, but donations are accepted.

   The observatory is home to an 18-inch telescope and offers Northern Colorado a closer look at the skies without traveling far from home.

   Appointments can be made by completing the form on the Little Thompson Observatory Web site at www.starkids.org or by calling 970-532-7385.

   Appointments after midnight (local time) and first light are made through Telescopes in Education at www.mtwilson.edu.

   The observatory also has star nights for the public on the first and third Friday of every month from May until October, beginning at dusk.

   The observatory offers a few hints to make the experience more enjoyable.

   The telescope is kept at the outdoor temperature for technical reasons and visitors should dress appropriately.

   Visitors are encouraged to bring a flashlight, because the path to and from the observatory is not lighted.

   No food or soft drinks are allowed (unless specifically approved by the board), but bottled water is OK.

   No animals or pets are allowed, except seeing-eye dogs.

   Visitor instrumentation (including eyepieces) may be used on the telescope, but must receive prior approval by the telescope/dome technician.

   Due to heavy usage, no visitor instrumentation will be allowed on public star nights.