In Portland, the stars spend so much time hiding behind clouds that they deserve to be seen at their best when they’re on display. And there are few better ways of doing this than visiting the Haggart Observatory at Clackamas Community College. Every month the Rose City Astronomers offer monthly public sky viewings.
It’s a unique partnership between the astronomers and the college that opens doors – and the skies – to the public. The Haggart Observatory houses the largest single optical telescope in the Northern Hemisphere. It also boasts 24-inch and 13-inch Newtonian reflector telescopes. And once every month, anyone from the community can use them for free.
The free viewings are set to certain Saturdays, weather permitting, and begin around sunset and continue until about 11 p.m. It’s advised that hopeful sky watchers call ahead and confirm that the event will be held when the weather is uncertain.
Space in the observatory is limited, and viewers may at times have to wait to look through the telescope. If the weather is uncertain during the day of the event, call 503-594-6044 after 3 p.m. for a recorded message announcing if the viewing will be held or canceled. Due to the number of interested people, there may be a wait time during the free nights as folks take turns using the telescope.
Rose City Astronomers (RCA) is a nonprofit volunteer organization and one of the largest amateur astronomy clubs in the country. For more information about the free sky views, contact Diana Fredlund, Rose City Astronomers media director, at media@rosecityastronomers.