The University of Wisconsin-River Falls Physics Department begins its fall season of free, public observatory viewings and astronomy discussions on Sept. 18.
The first stargazing session on Tuesday, Sept. 18, includes a talk by physics Professor Eileen Korenic, who will present "Mars Science Laboratory: Curiosity, the Latest Rover" at 8 p.m. in Room 271 Centennial Science Hall. The discussion precedes the 8:30 p.m. telescope viewing on the third floor observation deck.
All observatory viewings are dependent on a clear sky. To verify that the sky is clear enough for viewing, call (715) 425-3560 after 6 p.m. or go to http://www.uwrf.edu/PHYS/Observatory.cfm and click on "observatory." The talks, set for 8 p.m., will go on as scheduled regardless of the weather.
A Physics Department faculty member and/or student will staff each telescope and be available to answer questions at each open telescope session. Objects to be seen include planets, globular clusters, open clusters, nebulae, galaxies, moons, and double stars.
Since the viewing dome is unheated and the observing deck is outside and open to the elements, visitors should dress appropriately for the weather. The viewings and talks are suitable for all ages.
Other viewings this fall include:
--Wednesday, Oct. 17, 8 p.m., "2012: Mayan Doomsday?" presented by student Anthony Tumbarello in Room 271 Centennial Science Hall, followed by the 8:30 p.m. telescope viewing on the third floor observatory deck.
--Tuesday, Nov. 13, 8 p.m., "The Star of Bethlehem" presented by Professor Eileen Korenic in Room 271 Centennial Science Hall, followed by the 8:30 p.m. telescope viewing on the third floor observatory deck.
For more information about the observatory, email email@example.com or about pre-observatory talks, email firstname.lastname@example.org.