Indiana University Kokomo

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Jupiter and Saturn will be the stars of the show at the Indiana University Kokomo Observatory Open House, Sunday, May 12.

Observatory open house for the "ring of fire"Observatory open house is Sunday, May 12.

Patrick Motl, assistant professor of physics, will begin the open house at 8 p.m. with a talk about astronomical studies of dark matter and direct detection experiments. Visitors may then view the stars and planets until 10 p.m.; weather permitting, through the observatory's telescopes.

"At sunset, we will have Venus, a crescent moon, and Jupiter in the western sky, with Saturn rising in the east," Motl said. "Galaxies including the whirlpool, sombrero and Virgo cluster of galaxies are deep sky highlights for spring skies."

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 lets stargazers see fainter objects in the sky, due to its larger light collecting area.

The open house 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.