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Fast radio bursts topic of Observatory Open House

September 1, 2017

KOKOMO, Ind. — The Indiana University Kokomo Observatory will host its first free open house of the new school year on Sunday, September 10.

Patrick Motl, associate professor of physics, will begin the open house at 8 p.m. with a discussion of fast radio bursts (FRBs), which are short bursts of radio waves that arrive from outside our galaxy.

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.

“For the skies, we will have Jupiter setting shortly after the sun, and Saturn will be easily viewed in the south,” said Motl. “The constellations of the summer triangle are high in the sky in the early evening, including objects like the ring nebula in Lyra, the great globular cluster in Hercules, and the color contrast double Albireo in Cygnus.”

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

The Observatory hosts monthly open houses during the school year. Future events are planned from 8 to 10 p.m. October 8, March 11, April 8, and May 20; and from 7 to 9 p.m. November 12, December 10, January 14, and February 11.

The Observatory also will be open from 8 to 10 p.m. Saturday, October 28 for International Observe the Moon Night.

All open houses are free and open to the public in the Observatory, 2660 South Washington Street. Free parking is available on campus. 

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

Last updated: 09/01/2017