Physics and Astronomy

Matthew Price

Matthew Price

Discover the next steps for building the Ithaca College Observatory's radio telescope.

Student researchers working with Professor Matt Price will spending time in Ithaca College's Observatory drafting the next steps for building the College's radio telescope.

Faculty in IC's Department of Physics and Astronomy are highly dedicated to teaching, and a team of faculty have been researching and developing instructional materials and spaces optimized for performance-based Physics education. Student researchers working with Professor Price will also be planning experiments and performing data analysis for understanding how students think of themselves as scientists and physicists.

Professor Price is also enagaged in design of IC's Naked-Eye Observatory. The Ithaca College naked-eye observatory will be based on the “Uranidrome”, first developed at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) for use by their introductory astronomy students, local school children and their teachers, and the general public. The Uranidrome (URANI from the Greek word for 'sky' and DROMOS, meaning 'a large specially prepared place’) is an astronomical observatory with no telescope. The 90-foot diameter installation, located on a flat quad between campus buildings, has 12 concrete columns each precisely aligned with the Earth and the heavens to allow naked-eye observations (i.e. unaided by any optical devices like telescopes or cameras) of stars, the moon, the daily motion of the sun, and the motion of the earth in its annual orbit around the sun. The columns are inscribed with information about the Sun, Moon, Earth and the other seven planets, as well as Pluto. Atop each column is a metal sculpture; some are purely aesthetic and others aid specific celestial observations. For some visitors to the Uranidrome, it may conjure images of Stonehenge in Great Britain, Tiwanaku in Bolivia, or Teotihuacan in Mexico. In fact the Uranidrome is inspired by all of these ancient celestial observatories and the cultures who devised and used them.