Welcome to the Control Room
As previously reported, visitors who have registered for a Hopservatory tour will gather in the Transporter Room. From there, they will either take the elevator or spiral staircase up to the Control Room, on the second level.
Here, in a nice quiet “library” classroom, our docents will give you an overview of your cosmic trip. It’s a big universe out there, unfathomably big. To introduce you to the vastness of space, beginning with our own teeny-tiny solar system, the below is a short video featuring master story teller, Jerry Niehuser, a self described “Astro-Geek.”
Here is a teaser of the 12 minute video that will be viewed during the tour.
Mr. Niehuser, who has helped managed the Oregon Observatory at Sun River for over three decades, in his own casual, witty and avuncular way, will give you perspective on the length of time it takes for phone messages traveling at the speed of light to reach and return from various planets.
Don’t worry, Jerry won’t bog you down with a bunch of heavy numbers. At the same time, we do want to help you try to wrap your head around how fast light travels, how far away objects are, what’s out there, what they’re made of, and what it takes to support life.
In the end, Jerry’s message is clear – go outside, at night, and enjoy the magnificent brilliance of the night sky.
Our docents will give you a preview of the objects you will be looking at. We will generally strive to observe 3 objects, depending on the season (preferably a planet, a moon, and a globular cluster). They will also give a short course on how a telescope works.
The Control Room is a multi-media lab. We have festooned the walls with a number of “infographic” posters that address interesting topics such as: What is an Exoplanet? What conditions are necessary to sustain life? How fast is light? How big is the Universe? How fast can manned and unmanned space craft travel? What changes are happening right now to the Earth’s atmosphere?
From the Control Room, we will go upstairs to The Dome. Prepare to look up, admire the wonders of the cosmos, and prepare to get a new perspective on life right here on our tiny blue dot.