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IU Kokomo Observatory to host moon watching event, open house

October 7, 2013

KOKOMO, Ind. — The best place to see the moon for the upcoming International Observe the Moon Night is at the Indiana University Kokomo Observatory.

Observatory open house for the ObservatoryThe Observatory will be open for the event from 8 to 10 p.m., Saturday, October 12. Patrick Motl, assistant professor of physics, will present current thoughts about how the moon formed. In addition, the Observatory will host its regular monthly open house on Sunday, October 13, from 8 to 10 p.m.

"The date of this worldwide event was selected to have a good view of the line separating sunlight and shadow on the moon's face," Motl said. "This gives a great opportunity to see the three dimensional structure of craters and mountains through a telescope."

International Observe the Moon Night is organized by a team of scientists, educators, and moon enthusiasts representing government, non-profit organizations, and businesses around the world. The goal is to give people an opportunity to take notice of the moon's beauty, and to instill a sense of wonderment and curiosity about the moon. IU Kokomo's Observatory is one of hundreds worldwide registered to host events. In 2012, nearly 600 sites participated.

At Sunday's open house, Motl will open the event with a presentation on pulsars, which are rapidly rotating neutron stars.

Stargazers will be able to see the planet Venus and a waxing gibbous moon, along with highlights from the Summer Triangle, which is overhead at sunset.

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 allows viewers to 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.

For more information about International Observe the Moon Night, go to observethemoonnight.org.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

Last updated: 09/09/2014