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Sunday is first Observatory open house of the new year

January 3, 2017

KOKOMO, Ind. — The moon, Venus, and Mars will be the stars of the show at the first Indiana University Kokomo Observatory open house of 2017, from 7 to 9 p.m. Sunday, January 8.

Patrick Motl, associate professor of physics, will begin the open house with highlights from the 229th meeting of the American Astronomical Society, which ends January 7 in Grapevine, Texas.

In addition to the moon and planets, winter highlights such as the crab nebula in Taurus, and the great nebula in Orion, also called M42, will be observable, weather permitting.

“M42 is a relatively nearby star forming region and is widely regarded as the best telescope target outside our solar system that is visible from the northern hemisphere,” said Motl.

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, which ends at 9 p.m.,  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.

Last updated: 01/03/2017