Tag Archive for berthoud

Public Star Night at Little Thompson Observatory – June 21

Little Thompson Observatory

Little Thompson Observatory

Friday, June 21sth, 20137:00 – 11:00 PM Public Star Night at the Little Thompson Observatory, 850 Spartan Ave at Berthoud High School (park east of the high school; directions are posted on our website, www.starkids.org).

Our guest speaker is Suzanne Metlay, faculty member at Western Governors University, and the title of her talk is “Tides In & Out of the Solar System”.

Imagine tides without water and see the effects of tidal forces throughout the cosmos. Tides are the result of gravitational interactions and they create some of the most beautiful structures in space. Please join Suzanne Metlay for a livelydiscussion of these lovely, ever-changing features in and beyond our solar system.

Suzanne Metlay

Suzanne Metlay

Suzanne Metlay is full-time faculty in Geoscience Teacher Education at Western Governors University, a fully online non-profit university founded in 1997 by 19 governors of western states, including Colorado.

Previously, Suzanne taught astronomy and geology at Front Range Community College in Longmont and Fort Collins, was Operations Director for Secure World Foundation in Superior, and served as Education Programs Manager at CU-Boulder’s Fiske Planetarium.

The doors will open at 7:00pm and the presentation will start at 7:30pm. Weather permitting after the presentation (around 8:30 PM), visitors will be invited to observe various celestial objects through our 6” Astro-Physics Refractor, and 18” Tinsley and 24” Cole Reflector telescopes.

Public star nights at LTO are held the third Friday of each month (except July,when we are closed for annual maintenance). No reservations are necessary for these nights. Just come and join us for the talk and some observing afterwards. If you have any questions, please call the observatory information line at 970-613-7793 or check the LTO web site at: www.starkids.org

Public Star Nights at the Pioneer Museum, 224 Mountain Avenue in Berthoud, home of the historical 6” Brashear Refractor from John Bunyan, are held on the first Friday of each month. If you have any questions, please call the Bunyan observatory information line at 970-532-2147 or check the museum web site at:http://www.berthoudhistoricalsociety.org/bunyan.htm

Meinte Veldhuis, President, Little Thompson Science Foundation


Little Thompson Observatory welcomes 50,000th visitor

The 18-inch Tinsley Classical Cassegrain

On Wednesday 25 January 2012 at 7:00pm the Little Thompson Observatory (LTO) in Berthoud welcomed its 50,000th visitor since opening its doors in June 1999.

The LTO is a non-profit all-volunteer observatory that is open to the general public any night of the year by appointment and on every third Friday of each month for a Public Star Night. For more information, please go to the website www.starkids.org.

The group attending the celebration was Scout Troop 787 under the leadership of Jared Meier from Loveland, with about 15 scouts and 3 or 4 parents/leaders.

The LTO awarded the scout troop a plaque commemorating this event.


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Editor’s note: I volunteered to rebuild the Little Thompson Observatory website in 2008. The more I worked with the group of volunteers that had built and now run the observatory the more impressed I became. I had just gotten the site fully operational and handed off when my wife Marilyn was diagnosed with cancer. The team picked up the slack and ran the site with no assist whatsoever for several months until I was able to return to duty as volunteer webmaster.

I’m deeply honored to be part of the team that operates this observatory. If you ever want to see your tax dollars at work and rugged individualists doing good work with their own time and money, come visit the LTO. The telescopes are provided by the Telescopes in Education program and the control software is donated by Software Bisque. Everything else is community donations and volunteer manpower. This facility is a real gem. —MDW