Sun Spotting at Smith College Campus Center
NORTHAMPTON, Mass. – Looking directly at the sun, as the schoolyard mantra goes, can damage the eyes. But members of the Smith College community will soon be able to safely get a close-up of the orb through the college’s new Coronado Solar Max telescope.
The telescope, which is a recent gift from the mother of Smith alumna Lisa Ilka Abrams, will be set up on the patio of the Campus Center Monday, Oct. 17, from noon to 1:30 p.m., to view the sun.
Abrams, a member of the Class of 1990, described the image a telescope user will see as a sphere that is always in motion as eruptions appear to send out bursts of flame.
Her mother, Geraldine Hogan, presented the instrument to the Department of Astronomy in recognition of the role played by Smith College “in the formation of the many fine women in the Class of 1990.”
“Lisa is just one of the many young women who learned, through a Smith College experience, that the sky is not the limit and that you can reach for and be anything you want to be,” Hogan said in her dedication of the gift.
Hogan co-founded with David Lunt the Coronado Technology Group, a leading manufacturer and distributor of solar telescopes and filters and the company that produced the telescope.
Although one of her favorite classes at Smith was a science course, Abrams, 36, was not passionate about the subject. A student of government and economics at Smith, Abrams went on to receive a law degree and is an associate attorney at KarpHeurlinWeiss in Tucson, Ariz. When recently asked who in Tucson she most admires, Abrams said, “Margaret Modine [Class of 1939] and all of the local Smith alumnae who encouraged me to take a risk and head to Smith!”
“The college gave me so much more than four years of education,” Abrams added. “Smith is really the place that taught me how to think.”
Smith College is consistently ranked among the nation’s foremost liberal arts colleges. Enrolling 2,800 students from every state and 60 other countries, Smith is the largest undergraduate women’s college in the country.
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