Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Friday night Star Parties to resume Spring 2009

The University of Illinois at Springfield’s popular Star Parties will begin for the spring on Friday, March 27, and continue every Friday night through May 1, weather permitting. Star Parties are held from 8 to 10 p.m. in the UIS observatory, located on the roof of Brookens Library.

The Star Parties will be hosted by John Martin, assistant professor of Astronomy/Physics. The observatory’s three telescopes will be used to view a number of celestial objects, including Saturn, the ringed planet; the Great Orion Nebula, a nearby cradle of new stars; and the Moon, when visible. Other double stars and star clusters will also be viewed.

At a typical Star Party, visitors learn about galaxies, the sun, stars and stellar evolution, as well as star and constellation identification, prior to using the telescopes. These discussions take place in the stairway gallery of astronomical pictures on the way to the observation deck.

Star Parties are free and open to the public. Reservations are not required, and groups are encouraged to attend. The entrance to the campus observatory is located outside Brookens Library on the southeast corner.

Questions about whether the weather is suitable for viewing should be directed to 217/206-8342 at 7 p.m. on the evening of the Star Party. More information about Star Parties can be found online at

For other questions about Star Parties, contact Martin at 206-8342.