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IU Kokomo Observatory to host two free events in September

September 2, 2014

KOKOMO, Ind. — Be part of a worldwide event Saturday (September 6), as the Indiana University Kokomo Observatory hosts International Observe the Moon Night.

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The event, with participation from nearly 600 sites in 48 countries, is dedicated to encouraging people to look up and take notice of the earth’s moon.

The Observatory will open from 8 to 10 p.m. Patrick Motl, associate professor of physics, will open the free event with a presentation about the Apollo 11 mission. Observation will follow, weather permitting.

“This year, we’re celebrating the 45th anniversary of the first flight to take human beings to the moon’s surface,” Motl said. “The goal of this night is to give people an opportunity to take notice of the moon’s beauty, and to instill a sense of wonderment and curiosity about it.”

The Observatory will host its first regular monthly open house of the 2014-2015 academic year from 8 to 10 p.m. Sunday, September 14. Motl will present information about the Rosetta mission, as it prepares to place its lander on Comet 67P/Chiuymov-Gerasimenko later this year.

Stargazers should be able to see Saturn and Mars setting through the Observatory’s two telescopes, 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.

“Highlights for this time of year include the ring nebula in Lyra and the color contrast double star Alberio in Cygnus,” Motl said.

The open house is free and open to the public in the Observatory, 105 E. Rebecca Lane. Free parking is available on campus.

The next open house is at 8 p.m. Sunday, October 12.

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

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

Last updated: 12/22/2014