By SHERIDAN CYR
Students and families at Joseph DePaolo Middle School had an opportunity to become stargazers Wednesday night with the help of the Astronomical Society of Greater Hartford, who provided the telescopes and instructions to the school for the evening.
“This is part of our outreach program from the Observing Club at ASGH,” said Chris Markiewicz, Outreach Coordinator. “We participate with various community groups around the state to put on events like this.”
The club is happy to provide this opportunity to the students. “For some of these students, it’s their first time looking through a telescope, and they can see with their own eyes the great things that are out there,” said Markiewicz.
That night, students were able to see Saturn, along with parts of the stratosphere and plenty of stars. The moon was nearly full, adding substantial light to the sky and making some of the further away stars difficult to see.
Seventh grade social science teacher Trish Kenesick helped to orchestrate the event. “It’s been a couple years since we’ve done this, but we’ve brought it back because everybody absolutely loved it,” she said.
“These students get to see something that most of them have never experienced. The goal is to spark interest in astronomy. We want to see them become curious, and ask questions, and just want to learn more,” said Kenesick.
Over 100 students and parents lined up behind the telescopes across the soccer field behind the school. People brought snacks to share. Some sat in lawn chairs and socialized. Everyone had a chance to get a good look at the great beyond.
“The ASGH is a group of amateur astronomers interested in observing, photographing and generally studying the wonders of the heavens,” according to their website. Visit asgh.org for more information on programs offered, meeting schedules, information on the night sky and more.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Sheridan Cyr, email her at SCyr@SouthingtonObserver.com.