Yesterday I was driving around Concord and passed by the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center. I haven’t been there since they put the huge addition on and figured it was worth the look, mostly because the observatory hatch was open.
I must say, the new facility is fantastic. The current exhibit is on black holes. It starts by asking you to pick a name (from two columns) and then it takes your picture and prints out a card with a bar code.
As you walk around to each exhibit you put your card it and it keeps track of you and what you’ve looked at and you can interact with it online once you get home. During some points you can email your findings to your friends and record audio from yourself about what you’ve learned. It was a fantastic exhibit and the interaction was great.
After that I was wandering around looking at some items that were on loan from NASA when I was told the observatory was open so I headed up there. They had two telescopes setup that were pointed at the sun and I got to take a look. With the filters in place I got a great look at the sun and even got to see a sunspot. Turns out they’re also open every Friday night (weather permitting) and you can go look at the night sky as well. The person there said they usually have it on Jupiter, but also have it pointed to Neptune, and Uranus from time to time. If you have a free Friday night and the sky is clear you should swing by.
Perhaps the Granite State Skeptics can have an outing up there some time.