KOKOMO, Ind. — Indiana University Kokomo will host the last Observatory open house of the fall semester on Sunday, December 10.
The evening begins at 7 p.m. with a presentation by Patrick Motl, associate professor of physics, about the 40th anniversary of the Voyager spacecraft mission.
“The Voyager program gave us our first close-up view of many worlds as they completed their grand tour,” said Motl. “Recently, the spacecraft became the first manmade object to leave the heliosphere and enter interstellar space.”
After the presentation, stargazers will be without the moon or planets but rising are the winter constellations such as the crab nebula in Taurus and later the great nebula in Orion. The Observatory’s two telescopes, a six-inch Takahashi refracting telescope provides exceptionally sharp images of planets, and the 16-inch Meade reflecting telescope allows viewers to see fainter objects in the sky, due to its larger light collecting area.
Weather permitting, viewing will continue until 9 p.m.
All open houses are free and open to the public in the Observatory, 2660 South Washington Street. Free parking is available on campus.
The Voyager spacecraft launched August 1977 with the original mission to explore Jupiter and Saturn. It is far beyond the planets in the solar system and has become the farthest and longest-lived mission today. For more information on the Voyager, go to www.nasa.gov/voyager
Story written by Sarah Gill. Sarah is an intern in the Office of Media & Marketing.
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.