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Learn about exoplanets at IU Kokomo Observatory

May 14, 2018

KOKOMO, Ind. — Learn more about NASA’s mission to discover thousands of exoplanets, at the May 20 Indiana University Kokomo Observatory Open House.

Patrick Motl, associate professor of physics, will begin the open house at 8 p.m. with a discussion on the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, NASA’s two-year survey of exoplanets, or planets orbiting stars outside the solar system. He also will discuss recent news from the James Webb Space Telescope.

After the presentation, those attending may view the evening skies through the Observatory’s telescopes.

“At sunset, we will have Venus and the moon in the early evening skies,” Motl said. “As it grows a bit darker, Jupiter will be observable, including a transit of Ganymede across the face of Jupiter.”

Observation will continue until 10 p.m., weather permitting.

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, 2660 Washington Street. Free parking is available on campus.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

Last updated: 05/14/2018