McFarland Ridge observatory topic of talk



BAR HARBOR — Dwight Lanpher will talk about one man’s efforts to build an observatory on Mount Desert Island at the Jesup Memorial Library on Wednesday, Jan. 11, at 6:30 p.m.

Theodore Dunham Jr. worked from 1979 to 1984 to put an observatory on McFarland’s Hill. He accomplished much of the work during that period, including building a road up the hill, making plans for a building, having a computer-driven telescope built for testing. Unfortunately, Dunham died in 1984 at age 86 before he could see the building started.

Dunham was best known for discovering that Venus’ atmosphere was high pressure carbon dioxide. He served at a number of observatories around the world.

The Acadia Astronomical Society welcomes new members, and the program is open to everyone at no charge. The club uses the Jesup’s lending telescope to scope out the night skies, teaches people to use it and offers programs about what’s to be seen in the sky at night. Contact the club at [email protected] or call the Jesup at 288-4245.

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