Saturn can be viewed from Crane Observatory

Marian Lacey

Saturn, known as the “gem of the Solar System,” has been the main focus of the Crane Observatory, located on the fourth floor of Stoffer Science Hall.

Saturn is one of the most requested objects to view from the old telescope. Since the planet has been in good position lately, the telescope has provided a splendid view for the many people that attended the open house.

Saturn is about nine times farther from the Sun than Earth is and also about nine times larger. The axial tilt of the planet is such that it provides a great view of the rings and the division between them.

“People often accuse us of taping a photo to the end of the telescope tube, but what they are seeing is actually the real planet Saturn,” said Brenda Culbertson, Planetarium coordinator. “We can often see some of the moons orbiting Saturn, too.”

The public is invited to attend the open house viewing sessions on clear Thursday evenings in April. The sessions are 8-9:30 p.m.