Observatory Doors Opening for Doors Open Jamestown


Contributing Writer
Walt Pickut
Board of Directors, MMMAA

The Martz-Kohl Observatory is inviting local residents to join us at 176 Robin Hill Road in Frewsburg on Saturday, January 19, from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. for Doors Open Jamestown as we re-open our doors. The observatory’s 10-year expansion and renovation project is nearing completion, and the final additions are now ready for their interior finish this spring. These will include the Welcome Center/Gift Shop, the Planetarium, and the new maintenance garage.
All of the main telescopes remain in full operation, and the public is invited for the tours and exhibits planned for Doors Open Jamestown.

See Total Lunar Eclipse
Sunday/Monday, January 20/21, will provide a special evening of sky-watching at Martz-Kohl. On Sunday night, January 20, a bright, full moon – known by early Native American tribes as the Full Wolf Moon because it was the time of year when hungry wolf packs howled outside their camps – will start to pass into the Earth’s shadow at 9:36 p.m. This will dramatically turn the Full Moon into a Total Lunar Eclipse as the moon gradually grows darker and takes on a rusty or blood-red color. The eclipse’s maximum darkness will occur at 12 minutes after midnight. The Moon will finally exit the Earth’s shadow, ending the eclipse, at 2:48 am on Monday morning. The total duration of the eclipse event will be 5 hours, 12 minutes.
A Lunar eclipse happens when the moon’s orbital path moves it into the Earth’s shadow. From the moon, the Earth would appear to move in front of the sun, turning daytime on the moon into night.
The full moon visible before and after the eclipse will be the first of the three supermoons for 2019 (January 21, February 19 and March 21). On these dates the Moon will be at its closest approach to the Earth and may look slightly larger and brighter than usual.
The eclipse will be visible throughout most of North America, South America, the eastern Pacific Ocean, western Atlantic Ocean, extreme western Europe, and extreme western Africa. To learn more, navigate to the NASA Map and Eclipse Information at https://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/eclipse.html.

Stay Tuned for More
The year 2019 promises to bring many new events to the Martz-Kohl Observatory. With the expected completion of construction, the staff plans to refocus their energies on educational, public interest, and new, advanced research projects. A full list of guest speakers for the year will be published in this column next month. Tours and group events will continue to be a major focus of Martz-Kohl activities.

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Walt Pickut
Walt Pickut’s writing career began with publishing medical research in1971 while working at the Jersey City Medical Center and the NYU Hospital and School of Medicine. Walt holds board registries in respiratory care and sleep technology as well as bachelor's degrees in biology and communication, and a master's degrees in physiology from Fairleigh-Dickinson University in New Jersey, with additional graduate work in mass communication completed at SUNY Amherst. He currently teaches Presentational Speaking in the Houghton College PACE program at JCC and holds memberships in the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of Business Publication Editors. He lives in Jamestown with his wife Nancy, an MSW social worker, and has three children: Dr. Cait Lamberton in Pittsburgh, Bill Pickut, a marketing executive in Chicago, and Rev. Matt Pickut in Plymouth, IN.