Clinton B. Ford Observatory News
Observatory Open House
Public Night Schedule:
Regular public nights at the Observatory are scheduled for the following evenings:
Friday, Nov. 15 8:00-10:00 PM ← Cancelled due to weather! Friday, Dec. ??-TBA 8:00-10:00 PM
To attend a public night, just show at the entrance to the Center for Health Sciences Building in F-Lot. A shuttle van will make regular runs to convey people up to the Observatory and back down. There is no parking available up at the Observatory. The access road is NOT lighted, so please do not walk up.
Bad Weather Plan:
The Go/No-Go decision for any public night will be made at 3:30 PM on the scheduled date. This page and the recorded message at the observatory will be updated shortly thereafter to reflect the decision for that evening. So if you reload this page or call the observatory at 274-3012 after about 4:00 PM (to give me time to update things) you will get the final decision for that evening.
The Mouse's Tale
02/25/05. In the fall of 2004, while I was on sabbatical leave, the large telescope stopped working. A little detective work showed that a mouse had built a nest among the telescope control wires, and had chewed them. Repairs will be begin after the damage has been assessed. To follow the progress, check out the Mouse Hunt page.
04/05/05. The telescope has been repaired. Check out the repair story on the Repairs page.
The Name of the Observatory:
The Ithaca College Board of Trustees has voted to name the new observatory in honor of Clinton B. Ford. Ford was a famous amateur astronomer, and served for years as Treasurer and President of the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO). He became a member of the College's Board of Trustees in 1966 and was awarded honorary status in 1988, four years before he died. Among his bequests to the College, Ford left three of his telescopes and some money explicity for astronomy. The money was used to obtain a matching grant from the National Science Foundation for the purchase of a telescope and observing equipment for the new observatory, which will henceforth be known as the Clinton B. Ford Observatory.
We also have information available about the location and design of the observatory, as well as pictures of the construction of the observatory.
Local Weather Information:
Before you come up, you might want to check the Ithaca weather forecast: (Forecast will open in a new window.)
National Weather Service - 7 Day forecast
Weather Channel Current Conditions & 36-hour forecast
Weather Channel Hourly forecast
Weather Channel 10-day Local forecast
Local Doppler radar image. (To see what's here now.)
Regional Doppler radar image. (To see what's coming.)
Regional satellite image. (To check the cloud cover.)
Astronomy Picture of the Day
Sky & Telescope
Ithaca College Links:
Dan Briotta's Home Page
Physics Department Home Page
Ithaca College Home Page
Ithaca Weather Images from the Weather Channel.
D. Briotta (email@example.com)