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Nevermind Those Bowery Hotels: the Real Starwatching Is at Maryhouse

Screen shot 2012-06-27 at 10.25.49 AMFelton Davis Joanne Kennedy gives a quick astronomy lesson.

If it were up to him, Felton Davis would install a 75-foot dome atop the communal shelter where he has lived for 25 years. But the Catholic Worker doesn’t have that kind of money, so he uses a simple telescope to show his fellow Maryhouse residents the wonders of the universe.

Mr. Davis hosts informal viewings on the rooftop of the Catholic-anarchist hospitality house, but on a half dozen occasions, he’s taken his planet parties to the street. Saturday night, he took his Orion telescope and wide-angle Q70 lens to the corner of East Third Street and Second Avenue to give over a hundred passersby an intimate view of Saturn. Positioned next to a bright star in the Virgo constellation, the planet is imminently visible during these summer months.

“This is something that intrudes on people’s consciousness in very strange ways. It’s out of this world,” Mr. Davis told The Local. “People were surprised they could see Saturn from the city streets.” Read more…