Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Popular UIS Friday Night Star Parties start April 4th

The University of Illinois Springfield’s popular Friday Night Star Parties will resume in April. Those dates include: April 4, 11, 18, and 25. Friday Night Star Parties are held from 8 to 10 p.m., weather permitting, at the UIS observatory on the roof of Brookens Library.

Star Parties are hosted by John Martin, associate professor of Astronomy/Physics. The observatory’s telescopes will be used to view a number of celestial objects, including the planets Jupiter and Mars (later in April), the Moon, when visible; the Great Nebula in Orion; and other double stars and star clusters.

A typical Star Party begins with a presentation as visitors ascend the stairs to the observatory, learning about galaxies, the sun and stars along the way. On the roof observation deck visitors are invited to view the skies through telescopes and ask questions. Participants are welcome to arrive and leave as they wish between 8 and 10 p.m.

Friday Night 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 of the building.

Star Parties may be canceled for cloudy weather. 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. Participants may also follow the UIS Observatory on Twitter (@UISObservatory) for updates.

For more information on Star Parties, email John Martin at jmart5@uis.edu or visit www.uis.edu/astronomy/about/starparties.html.

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