Martz Opens its Doors for 2020

Martz Observatory Logo

The all-volunteer staff and the members of the Martz-Kohl Observatory atop of Robbin Hill Road in Frewsburg are looking forward to welcoming more guests than ever for Doors Open Jamestown.

Visitors will enjoy tours of the entire observatory and new planetarium technology. Visitors will also learn about 2020’s upcoming schedule of popular, space-themed family movie nights on the second Wednesday of every month, and special guest speaker events slated for the third Wednesday evening of every month. A limited number of working Galileo Telescope replica kits will also be available as donor thank you gifts.

This year’s speaker lineup is once again planned to include NASA scientists, the award-winning artistry of astrophotographers, professional astronomers, spaceflight specialists, and more. Martz-Kohl is also continuing it far-reaching plans to make all three of its main research-grade telescopes remotely operable to Martz-Kohl members and to guest astronomers from across the globe.

Another new program now under development is a special branch of astronomy called radio-astronomy. Stars and planets not only shine in visible light, but also in radio waves. A first step, now in operation, lets “viewers” not only see meteor showers and “shooting stars,” but listen to them as well. The glowing trail of fire that streaks across the sky as a meteor has the unique ability to also reflect radio waves back down to earth. It’s a bit like moonlight reflected off campfire smoke at night, or headlights reflected off fog. Radio astronomy allows us to “see” the invisible by hearing it.

Even on a cloudy night or on a rainy day when a meteor shower high above the Earth can’t be seen, it can be heard as reflected glints of far-away radio stations from far around the world. Come to Doors Open Jamestown and listen to the never-ending rain of space debris, meteors, and comet dust that enters our atmosphere by the ton every minute from deep space.

The Martz-Kohl Observatory’s mission is to bring the universe down to Earth, to offer everyone an opportunity to experience the beauty and appreciate the science of space, and for the public—from schoolchild to adult—to learn about the amazing cosmos we are all a part of.

Come visit us on January 18, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., at 176 Robbin Hill Road in Frewsburg. Start your own program of planetary exploration by exploring this special part of the closest planet we can visit: Planet Earth.

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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.