The latest sighting at Ohio Wesleyan University’s Perkins Observatory didn’t require the facility’s 32-inch Schottland Telescope. This finding was a bright and shining TV star.
OWU’s own Tom Burns, director of Perkins Observatory, was featured May 12 on WJW-Fox 8’s “New Day Cleveland” broadcast throughout northeast Ohio. The segment, titled “Road Trip: Delaware,” featured multiple Delaware-area destinations hosted by five-time Emmy-winner David Moss.
At the observatory, Burns showed “New Day Cleveland” viewers how the facility’s 25,000-pound dome doors open and how the dome rotates using a railroad track system in place since the building opened in 1924.
When Moss complimented Burns on his high-energy, fun-filled tours, Burns credited another source.
“It’s not me,” said Burns, who also serves as an OWU English professor. “It’s the universe. It’s a pretty spectacular place. It provides a good deal of inspiration.”
Perkins Observatory, 3199 Columbus Pike (U.S. 23), is “a pretty spectacular place,” too.
It is an active research facility used by students and faculty of Ohio Wesleyan’s Department of Physics and Astronomy. It also conducts hundreds of public programs that reach tens of thousands of people each year. Among the observatory’s most popular events are its Friday night stargazing programs, which sell out frequently.
In July, night will become day at “the place for space” when its regular Friday evening programs are replaced with Celebration of the Sun events at 4 p.m. Saturdays. (July 12, 19, and 26 only.)
Group tours for schoolchildren and a lecture series for adults round out the observatory’s most popular offerings.
Popular with guests, too, is Burns, who is always seen wearing rainbow-colored suspenders along with his star-powered smile. His love of Perkins Observatory is infectious – a fact that quickly became apparent to Moss and “New Day Cleveland.”
“Professor Burns,” Moss said, “I think you’re out of this world.”
Ohio Wesleyan agrees.