Starry Nights to View Around Campus

Drena Steen, Contributing Writer

It’s widely accepted that Colgate’s campus is one of the most beautiful college campuses there is. But what community members may not know is that it also is home to great vantage points for celestial observations. 

Colgate is located atop a large hill. For students who need to scale the slope, this can be very draining. So, when you need a minute to step back and catch your breath, take a few minutes to find Colgate’s many open spots with nice views.

Consider Whitnall Field, for example. It is wide-open and a perfect spot to bring a blanket, sit, relax, look up and catch some cool night-sky sights.

Other vantage points include the Persson Hall balcony and sky bridge. Both are peaceful places to sit and watch the sunset. Further up the hill, the old ski hill past the Chapel House has a great view, but beware of the ticks, as cautioned by a sign currently posted nearby. Lastly, the hill behind Burke and Pinchin Halls — commonly called the Field of Dreams — has a lovely view.

Each of these spots allows for a nearly-panoramic view of the area and sky surrounding Colgate, and since the University is far from city lights, solar events can often appear more clearly.

In fact, there are upcoming solar events you can add to your calendar right now. On August 27, there will be a new moon, meaning no moon will be visible. This will be an especially good time to observe the sky because of the lack of ambient light.

“As New Moon nights are dark, they are often the best time to view other celestial objects like planets, meteor showers, and deep sky objects such as star clusters, nebulae and galaxies,” writers for reported.

Also on Aug. 27, Mercury will be at its Greatest Eastern Elongation, the best time to spot the planet, according to The Science Times.

Looking ahead to next month, there will be a full moon on September 10. 

According to Weather 25, the weather on Aug. 27 will be mostly clear and between 70°F and 90°F with the humidity staying around 60-70% for the day, but getting lower throughout the evening.

While the weather for Sept. 10 is too far out to predict, it seems that conditions will be similar to Aug. 27, according to Weather 25. So if you feel the urge to relax and enjoy a great view, check out various spots around campus and look up at the night sky.