KOKOMO, Ind. — Join astronomy enthusiasts worldwide Saturday for International Observe the Moon Night (InOMN), at the Indiana University Kokomo Observatory.
The Observatory will be open for the event from 8 to 10 p.m. Saturday, October 8. Patrick Motl, associate professor of physics, will discuss the Google Lunar Xprize program, and highlight the teams that will compete. The competition offers a total of $30 million to the first privately funded teams to land a robot on the moon that successfully travels more than 500 meters and transmits back high-definition images and video.
In addition, the Observatory will host its regular monthly open house from 8 to 10 p.m. Sunday, October 9. Motl will present a farewell to the Rosetta spacecraft, which just ended its 12-year mission by touching down on comet 67p/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Highlights for the open house include Venus, Saturn, Mars and first quarter moon as well as gamma Andromedae, Albireo, the ring nebula and the andromeda galaxy.
InOMN is an annual worldwide public event that encourages observation, appreciation, and understanding of the moon and its connection to NASA planetary science and exploration, as well as the cultural and personal connection we have with the earth’s nearest neighbor. Since 2010, approximately 450,000 people have participated in an InOMN event, throughout 98 countries and 49 U.S. states.
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.
Both events are free and open to the public in the Observatory, 105 E. Rebecca Lane. Free parking is available on campus.
For more information about International Observe the Moon Night, go to observethemoonnight.org.
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.