Wednesday, September 11, 2019

UIS Friday Night Star Parties to be held in a temporary location for the rest of the fall season

The University of Illinois Springfield’s popular Friday Night Star Parties will be held in a temporary location for the rest of the fall season. Star Parties will be held from 8-10 p.m. on Sept. 13, 20, and 27 and Oct. 4, 11, 18 and 25, weather permitting, on the outside patio of the old Public Affairs Center (PAC) Food Emporium.

Star Parties are hosted by John Martin, UIS associate professor of astronomy/physics. Multiple 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.

Fundraising is now underway for UIS Observatory renovations, including the redesign and replacement of the original deck, improved accessibility for people of all abilities and re-imagining the telescope enclosure. Individuals interested in donating towards the renovation effort can learn more at

Friday Night Star Parties are free and open to the public. Reservations are not required and groups are encouraged to attend. Star Parties begin with a welcome and a quick tour of the constellations in the night sky. 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.

Star Parties may be canceled due to 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 website at

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