Astronomy-related events celebrate Earth Day by looking toward the stars, April 27 and 29, 2016

As part of a month-long series of events celebrating Earth Day, The Environmental Cooperative at the Vassar Barns is holding two astronomy related events: a star-gazing opportunity at Vassar College’s Observatory and a screening of the documentary, A Sidewalk Astronomer. Both events are free and open to the public.

Vassar College’s Class of 1951 Observatory houses two large reflecting telescopes in separate domes: a 20-inch, and a 32-inch (one of the two largest research telescopes in New York State). “Stargazing at the Vassar Observatory” will be held on Wednesday, April 27, 9:00pm (weather permitting), visitors will have the opportunity for star gazing. “This event will allow us to explore the environment above us, gaze at several star constellations, and observe the planetary and cosmic events that are happening around us,” says Jen Rubbo, manager of the Environmental Cooperative.

The documentary A Sidewalk Astronomer will be screened on Friday, April 29, 6:30pm, in Rockefeller Hall, room 300. The film profiles John Dobson, the inventor of the Dobsonian telescope mount, which changed the field of astronomy dramatically, and made telescopes accessible to the public on every continent. Dobson is also a co-founder of Sidewalk Astronomers, an organization that encourages amateur astronomy enthusiasts to share their telescopes and knowledge with other people on city streets and in national parks.

These events are presented as part Vassar’s year-long celebration of the sciences, which includes Touch the Sky: Art and Astronomy, a special exhibition at the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center. Touch the Sky will be on view April 29-August 21.

About The Environmental Cooperative at the Vassar Barns
The Environmental Cooperative at the Vassar Barns is an outreach initiative by Vassar College working to expand and coordinate conservation initiatives throughout the Hudson Valley by supporting current efforts and developing new programs to inspire further engagement in environmental issues by the college, community and region.

Vassar College strives to make its events, performances, and facilities accessible to all. Individuals with disabilities requiring special accommodations must contact the Office of Campus Activities at least 48 hours in advance of an event, Mondays-Fridays, at (845) 437-5370. Without sufficient notice, appropriate space/and or assistance may not be available. For detailed information about accessibility to specific campus facilities, search for “campus accessibility information” on the Vassar homepage (

Directions to the Vassar campus, located at 124 Raymond Avenue in Poughkeepsie, NY, are available at

Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861.

Posted by Office of Communications Friday, April 8, 2016