The Versant Power Astronomy Center, located on the UMaine campus, is the largest and most advanced planetarium and observatory in the state of Maine. The planetarium has a 33 foot dome suspended over 50 seats. The planetarium is capable of rendering a scientifically accurate digital universe in 3 dimensions, enabling planetarium programs to not only see the familiar star patterns we know from Earth’s surface, but to fly through the stars and visit stars, planets and galaxies normally far beyond our reach.
The Astronomy Center is also home to one of the most powerful research-grade telescopes in the state. The Jordan Observatory houses a 20″ PlaneWave CDK20 reflecting telescope that enables UMaine students and faculty to conduct real astronomy research that used to be limited by aging technology. The observatory is state-of-the-art and completely remote operable and programmable.
The Clark Observatory has been a fixture at the University of Maine since 1901, when the original refractor telescope was installed. Since then, the telescope has been modified with an additional refractor and an electronic clock drive, enabling it to accurately track the stars. The Clark Telescope recently moved to a new housing at the Astronomy Center.
Schedules are available online for public planetarium presentations. Planetarium programs are designed for age-appropriate audiences.
Bennett Hall WeatherView Station
Now in Bennett Hall we have a live weather station, providing up to the minute data and live cam shots. This station was donated to the Physics and Astronomy Department. The station provides accurate information on climate changes and atmospheric conditions.