The Cayman Islands Astronomical Society hosted a special viewing of Venus passing the Sun on 5 June at the observatory in Camana Bay.
Nick Kelly, president of the astronomical society, explained why the celestial event did not take place at the University College of the Cayman Islands campus.
“The reason we did not attempt to view the event from the observatory at UCCI was because of the way the buildings are built … I mean due to the configuration of the buildings around the observatory the event would not be able to be seen at that particular time,” he said.
Mr. Kelly said the astronomical society was also trying to get as many people as possible to view the event and the observatory at Camana Bay afforded them a better option in this regard. He also noted there was a lot of light pollution at the university, though last week’s event was not an evening event and this would probably not have been a factor.
“There are some computer glitches with UCCI’s setup. However, the telescope is certainly working,” said Mr. Kelly, when questioned about the efficiency of the school’s observatory and telescope.
The launch of the Dr. William Hrudey Observatory at UCCI took place on 21 February.
Among those present for the occasion were Cayman Islands Premier McKeeva Bush, UCCI President Roy Bodden, Education Minister Rolston Anglin and Mr. Hrudey himself.
The telescope, which was developed by Mr. Hrudey and donated to the university, is expected to serve the entire Cayman Islands academia in its interests in astronomy and science. It was made possible as a result of the assistance of entities from the private sector, which were all presented special plaques in recognition of their contributions.
It is expected students and the general public will be able to use the facility. Daytime and evening school hours will also be provided, in addition to a course in amateur telescope building.
Other planned exercises to take place in the observatory include a special teacher training workshop under the auspices of the International Astronomical Union and Annual Science Weeks. These will include guest speakers at the observatory and public schools.