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Welcome to Warren Rupp Oservatory...

Warren Rupp Observatory is one of the world's largest amateur operated telescopes. Nestled in the pastoral setting of Hidden Hollow, near Mansfield, Ohio we boast of some of the darkest skies in the state. The Rupp Scope and the Richland Astronomical Society dedicate themselves to public awareness of Astronomy.

All 2008 Public Nights will be held on the first Saturday of each month, March through November and special programs are offered on alternative weekends. Be sure to check our events. If weather permits, there will be an opportunity to view through the big scope as well as a variety of personal scopes. If weather is cloudy, there will be a program and folks who will be happy to take you on a tour of our Observatory! We welcome all visitors! Not only will you have access to view through this magnificent scope, but our members also have a variety of telescopes to help assist you on your celestial journey. Please feel free to also bring your own equipment as well.

If you will be traveling in the area, you are also welcome to visit the observatory by appointment. Members of the RAS must please contact the Observatory Director via the Bulletinboard link on the left to reserve telescope time. If you are interested in visiting the Observatory for an outreach program, or having us come and visit your group or school, please contact the webmaster.

From Starfleet Command...

Captain's Log - Stardate: May 25, 2008: Are you shocked with what you see? Good! For many years now we've had the same webpage and as much as I enjoyed designing it, it was time for a change. Enter the wonderful world of "Gee. I think I'll try something new." This time it's handcoding cascading stylesheets! As you travel through the pages you will find that not everything is updated yet. Global website changes take some time and not everything - including our navigation links - will remain the same. Have patience while I create new pages and get them uploaded. For awhile, some of the links won't work properly, or the links you visit will go to "old style" pages. If you run across anything that's a serious error, please contact me. Maybe I'll answer... Thanks! ~Tammy

Seeing in the Dark Returns to PBS June 11, 2008 - Internet Telescope Available to Summer School and Summer Camp Teachers

Seeing in the Dark, Timothy Ferris; a high-definition television spectacular on amateur astronomy and the wonders of the night sky, returns to PBS on Wednesday, June 11, 2008 at eight pm (check local listings). Critics have called the show (which premiered last September 19)a rhapsodic sight-and-sound odyssey into the night sky” (Associated Press) by the greatest science writer of his generation; (The New York Times).

"This is not your standard one-dimensional, expository science documentary." wrote David Brody of "Seeing in the Dark is more like a reality show from inside a love affair. The high-definition astrophotography looks like something out of Star Wars,” wrote Joshua Zumbrun in the Washington Post. Who remembered that our real universe could look that way, too?"

Commenting on the new airdate, Ferris said he hoped that the second national showing would continue to attract teachers and students to the program website, PBS - Seeing in the Dark. Over a million Americans have seen the film, and hundreds of thousands have visited the website, taking advantage of its resources for teachers, students, and families.

The website's most popular features include customizable star charts for every visitor's time and location; astronomy activities that you can download for use in classrooms, in summer camps, and with families; and the Seeing in the Dark Internet Telescope. The Internet Telescope is available free of charge to all students and teachers, Ferris noted. Just request an object through the website and we will shoot an image and email it back to you, usually within a few days. During the summer, summer school and summer camp instructors and students can also use the telescope.

The film -- based on Ferris' book Seeing in the Dark, named by The New York Times as one of the ten best books published in 2002 -- shows how amateur astronomers and casual stargazers are getting in touch with nature on the largest scales. "I hope it will encourage viewers to make stargazing part of their lives," Ferris said. "The website provides them with most of the tools they need to get started. Using its resources you can print out a star chart for your location, make a red-light flashlight to preserve your night vision using materials already around the house, and be outdoors learning the night skyall within ten or fifteen minutes."

To capture the beauty and wonder of the night sky, the producers assembled a world-class team including Hollywood cinematographer Francis Kenny, veteran BBC natural history director Nigel Ashcroft, the celebrated astronomical special-effects artist Don Davis, sound designer Kate Hopkins (Planet Earth), and three-time Academy AwardŽ winner Walter Murch, who did the digital surround-sound mix. The film features memorable deep-space images by some of the world's most respected amateur astrophotographers. The film's original musical score is by Mark Knopfler and Guy Fletcher, of Dire Straits fame.

The project's educational outreach director is astronomer and educator Andrew Fraknoi, head of the astronomy department at Foothill College near San Francisco.

Seeing in the Dark features amateur astronomers ranging from casual stargazers to those who have made important scientific discoveries. Among them:

* Former Minnesota Vikings star running back Robert Smith, who today shows the wonders of the night sky to high school students in Miami, Florida.

* Barbara Wilson, a onetime Houston housewife who got a telescope after her children were born and turned out to be one of the most sharp-eyed visual observers on Earth.

* Steven James O'Meara, who taught himself astronomy as a boy and was given keys to Harvard College Observatory when he was 14 years old.

* Ron Bissinger, who co-discovered a planet orbiting a star 150 light years from Earth from a backyard observatory he built himself.

* Rob Gendler, who takes deep-space photographs from his driveway in suburban Connecticut that rival the work of professional astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope.

Teaching resources are available at Seeing in the Dark for Teachers. For family resources, visit Seeing in the Dark for Families.

The Seeing in the Dark film and website are made possible by the National Science Foundation and PBS.

The International Year of Astronomy 2009

The vision of the International Year of Astronomy (IYA2009) is to help the citizens of the world rediscover their place in the Universe through the day- and night time sky, and thereby engage a personal sense of wonder and discovery. All humans should realize the impact of astronomy and basic sciences on our daily lives, and understand better how scientific knowledge can contribute to a more equitable and peaceful society.

The International Year of Astronomy (IYA2009) will be a global celebration of astronomy and its contributions to society and culture, highlighted by the 400th anniversary of the first use of an astronomical telescope by Galileo Galilei. The aim of the Year is to stimulate worldwide interest, especially among young people, in astronomy and science under the central theme;The Universe, Yours to Discover. IYA2009 events and activities will promote a greater appreciation of the inspirational aspects of astronomy that embody an invaluable shared resource for all nations.

Members of the Warren Rupp Observatory will be well-trained in IYA programs and we are anxious to share them with the public. Please consider involving your organization with these entertaining and educational programs. For more information about how you can become involved, please contact us.

Our Newsletter...

For many years our Richland Astronomical Society Newsletter - the M111 - was a touch and go release. It was hard to get content, and equally hard to afford to mail one each month to every member. A few years ago, we tried the experiment of putting the M111 On-Line with great results!

If you want to keep up with all the happenings, like who has completed what observing project, is attending classes, or just has something new to say? This is your resource. If you weren't able to attend a regular club meeting and would like to have a look at the minutes? You'll find them here. Wondering if we've gotten any new club members? This is where we post 'em. Do you have an article, idea or astrophoto you'd like to post? Then this is the place to go! Our club secretary, Barb Hubal, has done a wonderful job of keeping the content fresh and we are proud to annouce that Kim Balliett will also be adding things as well!

The M111 On-Line is your #1 resource for finding out all the news that is the news. Use it!

At the Observatory...

Would you like to take a look at what's out there? On the first Saturday night of every month (March - November) Warren Rupp Observatory is open to the public. If weather permits, the dome is opened and the 31" telescope has its eye on the sky. Outside the dome, we also offer a variety of telescopes to look through - including our new 16" Meade LightBridge.

Have you ever wanted to use a telescope on your own? Now you can. At Warren Rupp Observatory, the Richland Astronomical Society offers several different types of telescopes and binoculars for you to try hands-on. Don't worry if you don't have any experience. Our members will be glad to show you how to use the equipment!

If you have your own telescope or binoculars, please feel free to bring them along. You are welcome to set up in the observing area and enjoy our dark sky site. If you are new to astronomy and would like some help getting started, we're very happy to help!

Educational Programs...

Here at Warren Rupp Observatory, we are proud to offer entertaining astronomical education as part of our normal public star parties each month. Here you will find out more about our solar system, black holes, supernovae, space missions, the Sun, the Moon, comets, meteors, the distant galaxies and much, much more. We vary our presentation each time so that everyone has a chance to learn something new and all programs are suitable for children and adults alike.

Do you have a group or organization that you feel would benefit from a special program? Please feel free to contact us to make special arrangements. We enjoy traveling to schools and libraries - just as much as we enjoy having your group come here as well! All it takes is just a little prior arrangement.

As always, there is never a charge for any program we do. All of our members, educators and presenters are strictly volunteer and we do what we do because we love to do it. Of course, we always welcome donations. Old telescopes that need a loving home are re-furbished and put into the hands of our guests. Astronomy books, space related toys and educational videos are among the many things we need... And share!

Join Us For A Great Time!

Are you interested in visiting? Good! We'd love to have you. In case you're wondering, there's never a charge or fee to visit on a public night or to enjoy our programs. Guests of all ages are welcome and almost all areas are handicapped accessible. Small children? No problem. We have things to keep them entertained, including a "living room" atmosphere where they can watch cartoons or movies. There is also a restroom on site!

You are always welcome to bring food or beverages. Many times during a public night, we are known to fire up the grill and cook hotdogs. Feel free to join us! To be comfortable, always remember to dress for the weather. If it gets cool in the evening, your visit with us will also be cool. While we do have a "warm room", telescopes and heat do not mix, so prepare to be outdoors or in an open atmosphere. If it rains during a public night, we still give programs - so please come and visit. You'll have a great time!

Join us for great fun at the Warren Rupp Observatory!

Warren Rupp Observatory
5127 O'Possum Run Road
Mansfield, Ohio

Public Nights Open At Sunset

Current Moon Phase

What does the Moon look like tonight? Here you go...

The Clear Sky Clock...

To help you plan your observing session, or to just get an idea of what to expect as far as the sky goes, here's a device that only takes a little bit of practice to learn how to read. The Clear Sky Clock goes by colors to show you what kind of conditions to expect. To learn more, just click!

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The WRO/RAS was designed and donated by Tammy Plotner - Copyright 2008-2010; Original Content - Tammy Plotner - Copyright 2008-2010; All rights reserved. Site content is maintained by Tammy Plotner and Barb Hubal. All rights reserved.