First Light Viewing Party To Be Held

Paradise Valley Community College (PVCC) at Black Mountain will unveil its 14-inch Cassegrain telescope for a first light viewing party September 14, from 7–9:45pm. “First light” refers to the first time that a telescope is used to take an astronomical image. The telescope, located on the PVCC at Black Mountain campus, collects 3,136 times more light than the human eye. It will allow viewers to see the colors of the Orion nebula, storms on Jupiter, and the structure of the Andromeda galaxy that is located 2.5 million light years away.

“This new telescope will allow PVCC students to conduct research on variable and binary stars from the observatory dome, in the classroom, and even remotely from the Union Hills Campus,” says Jenny Weitz, professor of Astronomy at PVCC.

Paradise Valley Community College partners with the Phoenix Astronomical Society to provide students, faculty, and members of the community with opportunities to explore the dark night skies of Cave Creek and Carefree. Before the first light viewing party, there will be a STEAM night from 6–7pm. Both events are free and open to the public. To RSVP, email For additional information, visit

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