Doane Observatory celebrates 40 years of stargazing

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Across four decades, Chicagoans have been able to look to the skies at the Doane Observatory.

Observatory Director Larry Cuipik, said it's "the largest observatory in the Midwest that's totally publicly accessible."

It has some pretty cool stuff inside: three telescopes offering different viewing opportunities. One has a 20-inch mirror and can pick up to 5,000 times as much light as the human eye, making it perfect for night viewing.

The other two have special filters geared for studying the sun. One telescope has a white light filter allowing observers to see features of the sun's surface, such as sunspots. The other has a hydrogen-alpha filter which reveals hydrogen gas and the threads of light that drift off the sun's surface.

Cuipik has been with the Adler Planetarium, which runs the observatory, for 46 years. Friday, he celebrated the Doane Observatory's 40-year anniversary as well as his retirement. He's wrapping up his Adler career with some night viewing at the observatory from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday night.

The observatory has yet another big day ahead, when the planetarium projects its images of the sun during August 21's solar eclipse.
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