Friday, August 30, 2019

Friday Night Star Parties to return in Sept. at the UIS Observatory

The University of Illinois Springfield’s popular Friday Night Star Parties will resume the Friday after Labor Day. Star Parties will be held from 8-10 p.m. on Sept. 6, 13, 20, and 27 and Oct. 4, 11, 18 and 25, weather permitting, at the UIS Observatory on the roof of Brookens Library.

Star Parties are hosted by John Martin, UIS associate professor of astronomy/physics. The observatory’s telescopes will be used to view a number of celestial objects, including the planets Jupiter and Saturn; the Moon, when visible; the Ring Nebula; globular star clusters M13 and M15 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 8-10 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.

Anyone who has accessibility issues with regular Friday Star Parties should contact John Martin at 217-206-8342 or about Accessible Star Parties. Learn more on the UIS Astronomy/Physics website.

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