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RE: Wilder Observatory
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One of the great viewing opportunities this winter takes place next Friday and Saturday nights, when the Amherst Area Amateur Astronomers Association holds a rare winter observing program at Wilder Observatory on the Amherst College campus. The occasion is the Mars opposition: when the sun and Mars are on exactly opposite sides of Earth, an event that happens roughly every 26 months. The planet will be visible from sunset to sunrise. It won't be this bright again for a few years.
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A century of astronomy as seen through the Amherst College's Bassett Planetarium and Wilder Observatory

"Some people come to the Wilder Observatory, and they look at Saturn through this telescope, and they say, 'Well, that's not very impressive.' That's because they're used to seeing photos of Saturn from the Hubble space telescope or a satellite. But when I look through that lens, I think, 'Wow, this is me looking at Saturn!' There's just a few layers of glass between me and that planet, and I'm seeing it better than Galileo or Isaac Newton did. I might even be seeing it better than Edwin Hubble did" - Steve Sauter, the Coordinator of Education at the Amherst College Natural History Museum and Director of the Bassett Planetarium.

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