09 April 2013
KOKOMO, Ind. — The planet Saturn will gleam at its biggest and brightest in April, and will be at its peak of visibility for the Indiana University Kokomo Observatory's open house Sunday, April 14.
Patrick Motl, assistant professor of physics, will begin the open house at 8 p.m. with a presentation about the black hole in the center of the Milky Way galaxy. Visitors may then view the stars and planets until 10 p.m.; weather permitting, through the observatory's telescopes.
"In addition to Jupiter, which has been with us through the winter, we now have Saturn rising shortly after twilight ends," Motl said. "The moon will be a waning crescent, keeping the skies a little darker. The early evening will give us another chance to see the constellations and sights of the winter hexagon."
The Observatory's telescopes are a six-inch Takahashi refracting telescope and a 16-inch Meade reflecting telescope mounted together. The Takahashi provides exceptionally sharp images of planets, while the Meade lets stargazers see fainter objects in the sky, due to its larger light collecting area.
The open house is free and open to the public in the Observatory, 105 E. Rebecca Lane. Free parking is available on campus.
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.