The John J. McCarthy Observatory in New Milford has been given a $3,000 technology grant from United Technologies Aerospace Systems.

The UTC grant enables the observatory to acquire an All Sky Camera, a weatherproof, wide-field camera to be mounted on the observatory to provide a view of the entire night sky for the observatory website.

The addition of the camera will enable students and staff to check sky conditions and to join an All-Sky network, a growing network of such cameras set up for the purpose of capturing, tracking and analyzing atmospheric meteor events worldwide.

In addition, the observatory can acquire an electronic fine-focus system for its 106-millimeter Takahashi refractor telescope.

The advanced focusing system will enable students who do research projects at the observatory to achieve much better and faster results in imaging and studying deep-space celestial objects, such as nebulae and galaxy clusters.

"This fine donation from UTC Aerospace opens new doors for students to study the solar system and deep space," said Monty

Robson, director of

the McCarthy Observatory.

"Both the Sky-Cam and the focusing system are important to our mission, and will enable us to support new, exciting activities at the observatory," he said.

"We greatly appreciate this UTC Aerospace contribution to support science education in the western Connecticut region," Robson said.