[The following is an open letter to Greater New Milford-area residents from the volunteers at the McCarthy Observatory on the campus of New Milford High School.]

Dear friends of the McCarthy Observatory:

November 2012

We sincerely hope this note finds all of you well after the extraordinary challenges Sandy brought to the region.

Most of our team suffered no worse than power outages and various inconveniences, but this letter goes to families far and wide, so you have our thoughts with you if you suffered hardships.

All of us know of friends or family who had bigger impacts, and hope that help will come as quickly as possible to all of them.

The observatory weather system recorded a peak gust of 60 miles per hour, and a few others near that strength.

We are pleased to report there was no damage whatsoever to the facility or equipment.

The dome is engineered to be on high mountaintops where winds can be much stronger, and we constructed the building with an overabundance of hurricane ties and oversized girders.

It has weathered all the storms of 12 years without incident. So, we are open for business as usual, with all systems fully operational.

Come on down.

Being back on standard time, darkness comes very early, so any of you with young children can reserve the observatory for early evening visits and see Jupiter -- now getting nice and high in the evening, the Andromeda Galaxy, and many other fall sky highlights.

Remember, the observatory is a resource for any and all from the region, with no charge for visits of any type. We hope to see you soon.

Next Saturday, Nov. 10, is our monthly star party, so put it on your calendar.

The event will feature a most interesting discussion of the effects of gravity throughout the past and present universe. You will enjoy it.


McCarthy Observatory

New Milford