The Observatory

The mission of the observatory is to excite and challenge students to look at the universe both critically and artistically, and to investigate things they don’t understand.

Bringing our students closer to the cosmos

Glenelg Country School’s observatory houses a research-grade EDF Refractor Telescope, generously donated to the school in honor of our founders. Thanks to this gift, our students have the unique opportunity to explore the wonders of our universe, opening up more doors into the fields of science and mathematics.

During the day, students get to observe the sun, viewing sunspots and flares. In the evening, students spend time viewing Saturn and its moons, the Orion Nebula, the stars in Pleiades, and whatever other part of the cosmos we set our sights on.

As early as pre-Kindergarten, students can observe the sun, determining that it is in fact a round object and doesn’t have stripes radiating out from it. Fifth graders look at the Andromeda Galaxy and its companion M32 in preparation for studying galaxies in their science classes. Middle School Latin classes gaze at the astronomical targets that bear Latin names, and Upper School students explore our solar system and galaxy in great detail, as part of their astronomy courses.

About our telescope

The GCS Telescope is a 155mm (6.1” aperture) f7 StarFire EDF made by Astro-Physics. Its focal length is 1422mm, and it has a limiting magnitude of 14.6.

The telescope is a refractor, so the internal optics consist of a series of lenses that collect and focus light. The visual performance allows for true color viewing of the moon and planets. For instance, the light and dark bands that are classically associated with the atmosphere of Jupiter are clearly visible on clear nights through the telescope, as are the Galilean moons.

Glenelg Country School has several eyepieces ranging from a 55 Plössl, which results in a magnification of 29x and a field of view of 1.9˚, to a 7 Nagler, which magnifies objects 203x with a 0.38˚ field of view. These eyepieces allow magnifications of 600x.
An independent school serving students from age 2 through grade 12 in Howard County, Maryland.