In Photos: STAHR-Gazing at the Loomis-Michael Observatory



A view from the eighth-floor deck below the observatory showcases stunning views of the campus and the Boston skyline beyond it. It is also a chance to sight stars to find with the telescope later.


A custom-made spherical structure holding a chair found on the deck is used to visualize rotation of a celestial body.



A weather vane on the deck stands completely still beneath the stars. The STAHR observatory is only opened when wind speeds are less than 25 miles per hour.


A plaque at the base of the telescope describes the place and year of its manufacture. Donated by Walter Michael in 1976, the telescope is the centerpiece of the observatory.


The telescope is directed towards a vertical opening in the dome. An older, 10-inch refracting model, the telescope works by using several lenses to funnel and focus light into the eyepiece. The 150-inch-long focal length allows the telescope to magnify more than 300 times, rendering enough detail to see the Great Red Spot on Jupiter, some 400 million miles away.


Artwork from generations of students in STAHR adorns the walls and rim of the dome. Other pieces, like a student-designed wooden chair and ladder, move along the dome to assist students in adjusting the telescope.


The slow, motorized opening of the dome reveals the night sky, decorated with stars.


The telescope is carefully moved into position. Following recent repairs due to water damage, several additional precautions are taken while maneuvering the telescope.


With the dome opened and the telescope prepared, we direct the lens toward the moon. The image in the eyepiece is controlled by a focus knob. Careful manipulation of the telescope reveals a close-up image of the moon.