When I was a kid, my only dream was to be an astronaut. For Halloween I was the night sky (even though people called me Merlin all night), my science fair projects were always space-related (homemade solar system, space ice cream, the moon), so when I heard about this new addition to a local college, I couldn't tell you how excited I was.

Starting in July, Siena College plans to build an observatory on top of Roger Bacon Hall. Being a 16 foot observatory with a telescope with a 27 inch diameter mirror, it will house the largest telescope in the entire Capital Region.

According to The Daily Gazette, the college received a $467,402 grant from Maryland-based Sherman Fairchild Foundation and in part, be supervised by Rose A. Finn, professor of physics and coordinator of the grant application.

The telescope will allow us to see things like Jupiter's rings which are 588 million kilometers/over 365 million miles away from Earth. There will also be a device called a spectrograph available to analyze the chemical composition of faraway stars and other galaxies. This addition also opens up the ability to add astronomy as a liberal arts elective.

Not a student at Siena College? No worries, the college wants to use this opportunity to increase outreach into the community and will make it available for the public throughout the year once completed in the Fall.

Photo by NASA, ESA, and the Hubble SM4 ERO Team via Getty Images
Photo by NASA, ESA, and the Hubble SM4 ERO Team via Getty Images


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