The public is invited to view Jupiter, plus hear about local plans for the 2009 International year of Astronomy, at Eastern Illinois University’s observatory open house at 8:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 29.
Even if it’s cloudy, the observatory will be open for tours, said EIU physics professor James Conwell.
In 2009, International Year of Astronomy will commemorate the 400th anniversary of Galileo’s use of a telescope to study the skies, Kepler’s publication of "Astronomia Nova," and many other historic events in science.
Eastern's plans for celebrating IYA include hosting six guest speakers; holding special open houses with themes, such as how to use your telescope; displaying large astro-murals via print and/or digital projection; creating podcasts; and helping to supply each Charleston third-grade classroom with a Galileoscope, an inexpensive yet high-quality instrument similar to what Galileo used to view the skies.
Eastern's observatory, which houses a state-of-the-art, 16-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope, is located in the southwestern corner of campus between O'Brien Stadium and the intramural softball fields. A map is available online at http://www.eiu.edu/physics/campusmap.pdf.
Those who attend may park their vehicles in the lot north of Wesley United Methodist Church and then walk to the observatory site.
For more information, please call the physics department at 217-581-3220.