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USU Observatory Welcomes Public Friday Evening, March 28


Friday, Mar. 21, 2014


the USU Observatory
The public is invited to view the night sky through the telescope at the USU Observatory Friday, March 28, from 8:30-10:30 p.m. Admission is free.
photographic image of the Orion Nebula
The Orion Nebula is among the celestial views astronomy enthusiasts will seek during the USU Observatory Public Night Friday, March 28. Image courtesy of NASA.

All are invited to view spring’s night sky as the Utah State University Observatory opens its doors to the public Friday, March 28, from 8:30-10:30 p.m. Admission is free.

 

“We invite the Cache Valley community to enjoy views of the night sky from our state-of-the-art facility,” says James Coburn, Physics Department teaching laboratory supervisor and USUO coordinator. “We’re planning to look at Jupiter and the Orion Nebula.”

 

Located on the roof of USU’s Science Engineering Research (SER) building, the observatory houses a 20-inch reflecting telescope on a computerized mount that yields clear, crisp images of faraway planets and deep space objects. The observatory’s unique, half-circle building, designed and constructed by USU Facilities, features a circular staircase that leads to the telescope gallery topped with a metal dome measuring 16.5 feet in diameter.

 

All attendees are encouraged to visit the USUO website before arriving on public night, as the gathering will be cancelled in the event of cloudy or inclement weather.

 

The observatory’s telescope is accessible by stairs only from the SER building’s roof.

 

Parking for the event is available in surface lots near the Performance Hall at 1090 East 675 North on the USU campus. The SER building is southwest of the Performance Hall. To access the observatory, visitors should take the freight elevator located at the northwest corner of the first floor of the SER building to the roof. For directions, visit the observatory parking website.

           

USU students are the primary beneficiaries of the observatory, which was completed in 2009. More than 800 Aggies are enrolled in spring astronomy classes, which afford them access to USUO. The Physics Department offers public observatory viewing events several times during the year.

 

Related links:

USU Department of Physics

USU College of Science

 

Contact: James Coburn, 435-797-3014, james.coburn@usu.edu

Writer: Mary-Ann Muffoletto, 435-797-3517, maryann.muffoletto@usu.edu



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