FHSU Astronomy Open House

starsHere’s more astronomy information for those of you in the Hays area.  To launch the Spring 2009 semester’s Observation Deck hours AND to celebrate ‘ The Year of Science – 2009’, the Astronomy Club will be sponsoring an OPEN HOUSE to raise awareness.

The Observation Deck OPEN HOUSE is Thursday 29 January 2009. The deck will be open from 8pm – 10pm and you are free to come and go as you please. Weather permitting, these are the objects they will observe with the telescope:

1)  Moon: A few days ‘old’, it will be in a waxing crescent phase near Venus in the sky.

2)  Venus: With the position of this planet relative to us and the sun, it will look very similar to a first-quarter Moon. (This observation by Galileo, among others, proved that Venus orbits the Sun, and not the Earth)

3)  42 (OrionNebula): A very young (astronomically speaking) open cluster of stars still shedding its cocoon of hot gas. This nebula is about 1300 light years from Earth.

And after the moon goes below the horizon:

4)  M31 (Andromeda Galaxy): At 2.5 million light years from Earth, this is the closest spiral galaxy to Earth and our galaxy.

Instructions on how to get to the observation deck are available here.  Please contact Dr. Kenneth Trantham if you have questions.  His contact information is available here.

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