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Saturn to be highlight at open house

May 3, 2011

KOKOMO, Ind. – The Indiana University Kokomo Observatory will host an open house this Sunday, May 8, from 8 to 11 p.m. , and will be the last one for spring semester.

The event will start with a brief public lecture by Patrick Motl, assistant professor of physics, on compact objects and the death of stars. Compact objects are the remnants of stars, which include white dwarfs, neutron stars, and black holes. Following the lecture, a video of the pre-dawn, planetary alignments throughout May will be shown.

“Four of the five naked eye planets – Mercury, Venus, Mars and Jupiter – along with the moon, will rise together shortly before the Sun through the month of May,” said Motl. “By the first of June, Jupiter rises significantly earlier than dawn.”

Weather permitting; the Observatory will be open for viewing the evening sky after the lecture.

“Saturn will be a highlight of the evening, while the moon will be in a waxing crescent approaching first quarter,” Motl said. “Deep sky objects in springtime skies include the galaxies of the Virgo cluster and the whirlpool galaxy, as well as star clusters in our own galaxy.  The Orion nebula sets in the early evening.”

The Observatory is located across from the Kelley Student Center on campus. The summer schedule of events and the next academic year will be announced at a later date. For more information, contact Motl at pmotl@iuk.edu.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

Last updated: 08/12/2014