Star gazing at Sacred Heart

Thursday+night+star+gazers+have+the+opportunity+to+view+Saturn+at+the+Mary+Aloysia+Hardey+Observatory+on+Convent+of+the+Sacred+Heart%27s+campus.%0Acourtesy+of+Mr.+Rick+Bria

Thursday night star gazers have the opportunity to view Saturn at the Mary Aloysia Hardey Observatory on Convent of the Sacred Heart’s campus. courtesy of Mr. Rick Bria

For five years, Mr. Rick Bria,  Convent of the Sacred Heart’s Astronomy Technician, has shared his passion for astronomy with the Convent of the Sacred Heart community. Each Thursday night during the school year, he holds star gazing sessions (weather permitting) at Sacred Heart’s Mary Aloysia Hardey Observatory, located behind the turf fields.

Thursday night star gazers have the opportunity to view Saturn at the Mary Aloysia Hardey Observatory on Convent of the Sacred Heart's campus. courtesy of Mr. Rick Bria
Thursday night star gazers have the opportunity to view Saturn at the Mary Aloysia Hardey Observatory on Convent of the Sacred Heart’s campus.
courtesy of Mr. Rick Bria

According to Mr. Bria, it is rare for a school to have an observatory, and the equipment at Sacred Heart is worthy of a university. Using this equipment to teach the community about the astronomy has been a rewarding experience for him.
“I find that the more one tries to give, one receives, the more I try to teach, the more I learn,” Mr. Bria said.
During this time of the year, Thursday night star gazers have the opportunity to see The Big Dipper and Leo, almost straight in the sky. In the East the summer triangle is made up of three bright stars Deneb, Vega, and Altair.
“The planet Saturn is in the south and is a fantastic sight in the telescope. Binary star systems and star clusters are also visible,” Mr. Bria said.
If students were too busy to take advantage of the observatory during the school year, this summer Mr. Bria is offering a summer enrichment course on astronomy. Participants will walk through a scale model of the solar system, launch a rocket, look through the observatory telescope, and learn about the history of astronomy.
“But it is summer,” Mr. Bria said. “I will try to keep it fun while we learn.”
– Emily Hirshorn, Staff Writer