Jamestown Community College student Gleb Dementev studies mathematics, computer science and business. There is, however, another subject, that he can speak of all day long – astronomy. And it is no wonder that he established an Astronomy Club at Jamestown Community College.
The idea came when Gleb went to the campus soccer field away from the lights to see the International Space Station (the International Space Station is a modular space station in low Earth orbit). He was enchanted by what he saw at night.
“I could spot not only the International Space Station, which was quite impressive, even if it was just a very bright moving dot, but also the planets and the silvery band of the Milky Way stretching across the sky. I lived all my life in big cities where you could barely see even Venus because of the light pollution. Well, and in Northern Russia where I live, during the summer you can’t see anything because the Sun basically never sets, and during the winter you just instantly freeze to death, so it’s a nice change to be able to observe the heavens in above-zero temperatures,” Gleb said.
After that experience, Gleb discovered that are four high-quality telescopes, an assortment of eyepieces and a few tripods available at campus. Moreover, there is an actual observatory 13 miles away from the campus, where he is trying to visit.
“I figured if I were to set up a club, I could bring out telescopes for everyone to see through and go to the observatory together with other students, and that was the moment when I started setting up the club”, he said.
Gleb has a lot of plans for the club. With the help of Dr. Sean Nowling, the Professor of Physics at JCC, he has applied to the school to become an officially chartered club, which will help the club receive funding. He has already organized Astronomy Nights and has involved more than twenty people into the club, which make them one of the biggest clubs in the college.
“I am planning to organize a visit to the nearby observatory and invite a lecturer. We might even pack the telescopes and go just a couple of miles away from campus to observe deep-sky objects, such as Andromeda Galaxy or planetary nebulae,” he said.