Thursday, March 11, 2010

UIS Star Parties to resume during spring

The University of Illinois Springfield’s popular Star Parties this spring will be held on the following Fridays, weather permitting: March 26, April 2, April 16, April 23 and April 30. Note that those dates EXCLUDE April 9. There will be no star party on that date. On the other dates, 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 telescopes will be used to view a number of celestial objects, including Mars, the red planet, 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 more information or if you have questions about Star Parties, contact John Martin at 217/206-8342 or email

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