Deep Space Telescopes and a “Staroween Party!”


Contributing Writer
Walt Pickut
Board of Directors, MMMAA

The Martz-Kohl Observatory presents our most exciting October ever! October is Telescope Month.

NASA Guest Speaker.

Wednesday, 16 October at 7:30 pm, the observatory will welcome a guest speaker, John Mangus. Mr. Mangus, NASA’s chief optical scientist, will be speaking about the soon-to-be-launched Webb Space Telescope, the successor to the famous Hubble Telescope, that will look farther out into the universe than ever before. John has worked for NASA for 32 years as a Senior Scientist at the Goddard Space Flight Center and contributed to nine deep space and satellite teams, including the first weather satellite, the first Earth-observing satellite, the Cosmic Background Explorer mission, the International Ultraviolet Explorer, five Hubble Space Telescope Servicing Missions, the James Webb Space Telescope, and more. Team members he has worked with have won a total of five Nobel Prizes. After the presentation, tours will be given, and the observatory will be open for both members and the public to view the night sky, weather permitting.

Grand Opening!

Saturday, 19 October at 2:00 pm, the observatory will host a ribbon cutting, Grand Opening ceremony to celebrate the completion of its 10-year, $1.2 million expansion and upgrading project. After the ribbon cutting, the observatory invites the public to an open house from 2:00 to 4:00 pm with beverages and confections. At 7:30 pm, the observatory will reopen its doors to the public to view celestial objects through one of the many available telescopes.

Movie Night.

Wednesday, 23 October at 7 :30 pm, the observatory presents another in its series of movie nights. This month’s presentation will highlight Galileo’s invention of the first telescope for exploring the heavens, and the centuries of space exploration that followed, including stunning astrophotography. Members and the public will have an opportunity to tour the facility as well as view celestial objects in the night sky for themselves using the observatory’s telescopes, weather permitting.

“Staroween” Party!

Wednesday, 30 October from 6:00 to 8:00 pm, the Martz-Kohl Observatory invites kids of all ages (a.k.a. Parents) to our Halloween event with trick-or-treating, scavenger hunt, and crafts. Guests are welcome to wear costumes and celebrate All Hallows’ Eve at the observatory. Special prises for astronomy- or space-themed costumes. After the “Staroween” event, guests are welcome to tour the facility and view celestial objects in the nights sky through various telescopes located throughout the observatory. Who knows what might be flying in the night sky the night before Halloween?

The observatory houses one of the largest public robotic telescopes in the Northeastern United States. The Martz-Kohl Observatory is an all-volunteer, non-profit association [501(c)3] and does not charge for admission. A non-member donation of $5.00 per adult and $2.00 per child or student is appreciated.

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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.