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Spring galaxies steal the show at Open House

May 15, 2017
KOKOMO, Ind. — The planets Mars and Jupiter, along with the spring galaxies and constellations, will be the stars of the show at the last Indiana University Kokomo Observatory Open House of the school year.

Patrick Motl, associate professor of physics, will open the event at 8 p.m. Sunday, May 21, with a presentation about the Great North American Eclipse of 2017. The total solar eclipse will occur on August 21, with the moon completely blocking the sun, with daytime becoming deep twilight.

After the talk, those attending may view the stars and planets 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.

“In the skies, we will have Mars and Jupiter at sunset,” said Motl. “They will join the spring galaxies of Leo and Virgo, and the great cluster in Hercules as the spring constellations take prominence in our evening skies.

Weather permitting, viewing will continue until 10 p.m.

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 the Great North American Eclipse of 2017, go to greatamericaneclipse.com

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

Last updated: 05/15/2017