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Harper College will be closed for Thanksgiving Break on Wednesday, Nov. 22, through Sunday, Nov. 26.

Observatory Opening

When the planet of Venus passes in front of the sun this summer - a rare event that won't happen again for more than a century - Harper College will offer a front-row seat.

Through September, the College will host free up-close viewings of the evening and night skies at the Karl G. Henize Observatory on the main campus, 1200 W. Algonquin Road in Palatine. The roughly every-other-Saturday viewings will start April 14, allowing visitors to stargaze through Harper's large main observatory dome or other telescopes set up on the lawn nearby.

Viewing times are 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. in April, May and September and 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. in the summer months. The observatory will open at 3 p.m. for a special Tuesday, June 5 viewing for the Venus transit.

The public can call the observatory at 847.925.6990 to check visibility in advance.

For more information, including a full viewings schedule and details on the College's Cosmic Explorers program for budding astronomers in third through sixth grades, visit

Press Contact: Erin Brooks, Media Relations Manager, 847.925.6159,