KOKOMO, Ind. – Learn more about the first identified comet to arrive in the earth’s solar system from another star, at the Indiana University Kokomo Observatory.
Patrick Motl, associate professor of physics, will open the January 12 free open house at 7 p.m., with information about comet 21/Borisov, the second-known interstellar object to pass through the solar system. The first was Oumaumau, which astronomers believe is either a comet or an asteroid.
“Borisov was discovered in 2019, before making its closest approach to the sun, giving astronomers the opportunity to observe the comet much more extensively than was possible with Oumaumau,” he said.
After Motl’s presentation, stargazers may view Venus and highlights from the winter hexagon, such as the Orion nebula, 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.
Observation continues through 9 p.m., weather permitting. The Observatory is at 2660 S. Washington Street. Free parking is available on campus.
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.