Excitingly, everyone in the Astronomy Club huddled around the telescope with pride. They didn’t care about the chilling cold outside, all they cared about was their new tool for success…
On February 22 2019, the Astronomy Club calibrated their new telescope outside the main campus of PCCC and came one step closer to using it for making real observations. Members adjusted specific mirrors and discs in the telescope, as others looked on and discussed what they would soon observe.
According to Russell Gambino, S.T.E.M success coach and supervisor of the Astrology Club, the Astrology Club planned to calibrate the telescope that day, and he explained the importance of these adjustments.
“Today was planned for us to come out during the day and calibrate it, by focusing both scopes, deciding scope and a regular telescope, which is very large on the same terrestrial object, where we line the two scopes up, similar to a sighting scope and a rifle. By lining these two up, the little scope would use first to focus on the object and the object should be in view by the large telescope,” said Gambino.
The Astronomy Club’s goal is to use the telescope to make observations and to study the stars, the moon and the planets.
“Our next project is to go and actually perform a observation, preferably with this telescope right here at the college; we’ll look at the moon in the right position. Living in NJ, the obstacles always (include) the weather,” informed Gambino
Last semester, the Astrology Club received the telescope with the S.T.E.M. budget, and they built it themselves (with supervision).
“We got it in the beginning of the fall semester, so we worked on it all fall semester, waiting for specific pieces and parts to come in; so (in all) we worked on it for almost three months,” said Kelly Franco, the President of the Astronomy Club.
The Astronomy Club meet on Fridays, starting at 12:00 P.M to 1:00 P.M, and it is open to anyone on the campus who is interested.
“We have a lot of S.T.E.M students...that are involved. Many students wish to go on in careers with NASA or (other) Aerospace careers ...but all students are welcome to be part of the club,” Franco expressed.
If you would like to support the Astronomy Club, attend their upcoming bake sale later in the month.