First Night Brings Record Crowds to Ocean City Observatory

More than 1,400 watched the night sky through the new telescopes.

A record-setting crowd of 1,400 visitors braved a cold evening on New Year's Eve to view the night sky through the telescopes at Ocean City High School's new observatory.

The observatory was open as part of Ocean City's annual Dec. 31 First Night celebration. First Night volunteer astronomers Dr. John Herrmann (astronomy teacher at Rowan University) and Joe Burns (electronics engineer for the FAA at the Hughes Technical Center in Atlantic City) used the new observatory telescopes to offer the views of a crescent Venus, star clusters and Jupiter with its four Galilean moons.

The program started at 5 p.m. with Venus low in the west and had to be extended to 9:30 p.m. to accommodate the largest crowd to attend a public observatory program at OCHS.  According to Herrmann, more programs will be offered to the public throughout the school year. 

For additional information, please contact Herrmann at: herrmann@rowan.edu.

Nora Lee January 03, 2014 at 12:52 PM
This is a wonderful story. Great turn out. The interest in the universe continues to grow. We need to be thankful for companies like the <a href="http://www.us.schott.com/advanced_optics/english/">Schott Glass Company</a> that continue to develop more and more advanced optics making it possible to see more detail as well as to see deeper into space. As this article indicates, many of those great optic developments have trickled down to the consumer level making it possible for anyone to see into space. It is historically fascinating. Can't wait to see what is next.


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