Close to the Sky - The Perkin Observatory at Dublin School

The Portuguese word “saudades” claims no English translation. It describes something akin to deep nostalgia for something loved, something known and longed for, a form a of a home: absent but still deeply a part of the self. Many feel this “saudades” when gazing at the night sky. 

    During Sunday night’s beautiful Blood Moon, many students spent time at the Perkin Observatory, witnessing the wonder of the night sky, feeling unimaginably small but wordlessly significant, connected, a part of something. A number of dorms ventured up to the athletics fields for stargazing. Humankind’s fascination with the stars is nothing new, and we at Dublin—itself, already at an extremely high altitute—are lucky to have our own Observatory, managed by Mr. Ian Jamieson. 

    “My vision is that students will come to seethe Perkin Observatory as their own, a place where they can gather and explore the Universe, a place where they can hang out for a while, get to use the equipment to satisfy their curiosity and discuss their place in the Universe,” says Jamieson. “I truly hope that students will end up running the Observatory themselves, learn how to use the telescope, its associated equipment, and all the software packages.” Students have been gravitating to the Observatory, and Jamieson encourages their interest in learning as much as they can, in feeling empowered to explore the Universe from such an incredible location.

    In addition, Jamieson would like to introduce students to some of the latest research about the Universe “that not only shows how important Astronomy is in science today, but also what an incredibly bizarre place the Universe is.” He elaborates: “For me, this is the most important aspect of doing Astronomy and Cosmology because ultimately it shows us our very deep connection with space, time, matter and energy—it shows us that we are an integral part of this Universe.” Jameison, in his mission to show students our connection to space, has purchased an astronomical spectrometer— “so that students can start analyzing star light as well as planet light, which can often give some indication about the possibility of alien life in other solar systems.” 

    Jamieson welcomes all interested students and faculty members to learn more about Astronomy and Cosmology during their time at Dublin. “[...] As the evenings get longer and you have a little free time, please drop by for a few minutes or stay longer. Bring a friend along and ask me all those philosophical and scientific questions you have resonating in your brains. I will be at the Observatory every Tuesday regardless of weather, and on either Thursday or Friday, depending on which is the better day for viewing—and on Saturdays dependent of viewing conditions. Hope to see you there soon!”

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