Amherst College’s Wilder Observatory and Bassett Planetarium to Unveil Two Mural-Sized Images of the Spiral Galaxy Messier 101 Feb. 15
February 5, 2009 Contact: Steve Sauter Director of the Bassett Planetarium 413/542-5054
AMHERST, Mass.—Witness a special event on Sunday, Feb. 15, at 2 p.m. at Amherst College’s Wilder Observatory on Snell Street in Amherst when two new mural-sized images taken by NASA’s Great Observatories—the Hubble Space Telescope, Spitzer Space Telescope and Chandra X-ray Observatory—will be unveiled to the public.
Wilder Observatory, built in 1903, holds what was once one of the largest telescopes in the world. With an 18-inch front element, it remains one of the largest refracting telescopes in existence. Museum Education Coordinator and Director of the Bassett Planetarium Steve Sauter welcomes us to the little-known building on Snell Street.
The history of Bassett Planetarium, built inside of Morgan Hall, Amherst's first library, is a story of the Cold War, the Space Race and the generosity of Preston Rogers Bassett '13. The planetarium's director, Steve Sauter, tells the story below.