Campus News

Oct. 17 observatory open house to feature Mars, Ring Nebula

The physics and astronomy department in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences will host an observatory open house Oct. 17 from 8-9:30 p.m. on the fourth floor of the physics building.

During the early part of the viewing, Mars will be visible. In addition Albireo, a double star in the constellation of Cygnus, and the Ring Nebula, a glowing shell of gas blown off a giant star in the final phase of that star’s life, also should be visible. The Ring Nebula is in the  constellation of Lyra.

Visitors can view the objects through the 24-inch telescope in the dome on top of the building. Faculty and students from the department will be on hand to point out the various celestial objects and to answer questions. Free parking is available immediately to the north and west of the building, which is located at the corner of Cedar Street and Sanford Drive.

In the event that the sky is not clear, professor Loris Magnani will give a talk on “The Gas and Dust in the Milky Way” in the auditorium of the physics building.