Poor weather forces cancellation of observatory open house


UPDATE: The open house and night-sky viewing session scheduled for today, Friday, March 16, at Cal State San Bernardino’s Murillo Family Observatory, has been postponed because of poor visibility caused by weather conditions.

It has been rescheduled to Friday, April 27, 2012.

For more information, contact the CSUSB Office of Public Affairs at (909) 537-5007 and visit news.csusb.edu.


Following the postponement of its inaugural open house, Cal State San Bernardino’s new Murillo Family Observatory will officially open its doors – and the skies – to the public for the first time for a night-sky viewing session on Friday, March 16.


Cal State San Bernardino professor Laura Woodney prepares a telescope at the Murillo Family Observatory at CSUSB. Photo: Robert A. Whitehead/CSUSB

Scheduled for 7-10 p.m. at the observatory, located on the north side of campus on Badger Hill, the event will take place only if weather permits. The observatory’s first open house was originally scheduled for Jan. 27, but was postponed because of heavy wind conditions, which also led to the cancellation of classes that day.

Named in honor of Pauline and George Murillo and their family, who made a major contribution toward the project, the observatory boasts two towers, which each house a telescope.

It is the only teaching observatory in the Inland Empire and will serve as a center for the training of teachers in the subjects of astronomy and space sciences; expose students studying astronomy to the wonders of the universe through direct observation; and facilitate student research through hands-on observing akin to that experienced at professional laboratories.

Officially christened in November, the observatory’s first public event will provide guests the opportunity to view the stars and planets through an array of small telescopes along the observation deck. The 17-inch and 20-inch telescopes inside the domes also will be operational, and monitors will display the images captured through the large telescopes.

CSUSB physics students will be on hand to assist visitors and point out constellations.


The Murillo Family Observatory at Cal State San Bernardino. Photo: Corinne M. Jamieson/CSUSB

The event is free and open to the public. Parking at the university is $5.

Visitors are encouraged to park in the east parking structure, where complimentary shuttle buses courtesy of OmniTrans will transport them from the bus stop at the Education Lane circle to the observatory.

Bus service between the structure and the observatory will be continuous between 7 and 10 p.m.

For more information on Cal State San Bernardino, contact the university’s Office of Public Affairs at (909) 537-5007 and visit news.csusb.edu.