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Morrisville State College Professor, Students to Display Restored, Antique Telescope During Open House at College Observatory Nov. 8

MORRISVILLE, N.Y.—Morrisville State College will hold an open house at the college’s observatory on Nov. 8.

During the event, which begins at 1 p.m. and is open to the public, an antique telescope restored by students and faculty will be on display.

Jerome Caretti, instructional support associate in the Electrical Engineering Technology Department, and a handful of his astronomy students will also set up a solar projection to view a Transit of Mercury (as observed from earth, Mercury will cross the face of the sun), beginning at 3 p.m.

At 6 p.m., Caretti and an astronomy class will be utilizing the telescope and he will be explaining its restoration process.

The Schelter 12.5-inch Newtonian telescope was donated to Morrisville State College in 1967. Caretti, who estimates the telescope was handmade and polished around 1900-1920, decided several years ago to restore it to its full usefulness.

“The steel and iron used in the telescope had rusted significantly throughout the years and the original silvering had flaked so badly you could see through it, which meant valuable starlight was being lost,” Caretti said.

Caretti manufactured the parts needed from brass and sand blasted and painted the castings from the equatorial mount. He was further assisted by astronomy students and several faculty members, who helped strip, paint, and assemble the telescope and aluminize the mirror with a modern coating.

The college’s observatory access road is accessible at the south end of Skyline Drive, just east of the campus. Follow the access road up to the observatory. Parking is available on the grass near the village reservoir.

Morrisville State College offers 13 bachelor degrees and a wide variety of associate degrees and options. Considered to be one of the most technologically advanced colleges in the nation for its ThinkPad University program and wireless technology initiative, the college recently became the first in the nation to comprehensively replace landlines in residence halls with individual cellular phones.

The Norwich Campus recently announced its first standalone degree in early childhood and also offers associate degree programs in business, computer and office technology, liberal arts transfer and nursing to Chenango County area residents and employers. Students may also apply coursework to other associate or bachelor degrees at the main campus.

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