STEPHENVILLE (March 31, 2016) — Interested in astronomy and the stars that shine bright in the Texas night sky? Tarleton State University’s Program for Astronomy Education and Research invites area residents to gaze at celestial wonders at the Spring Star Party, Friday, April 8, at the university’s Hunewell Ranch observatory. There is no charge.
Visitors to the Tarleton observatory can gaze at the stars and deep space objects, as well as several planets, through several small telescopes, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Astronomers will be demonstrating the imaging process for research using Tarleton’s 32-inch reflecting telescope.
Larry Barr, manager of the Tarleton planetarium and observatory, said early spring typically offers clear skies—perfect for stargazing.
“Spring, with its clear skies and cool weather, provide for beautiful observations,” said Barr. “The Orion Nebula will be good to look at, as well as Jupiter.”
Several amateur astronomers will bring their telescopes to share with the public, and visitors are encouraged to bring their own telescopes.
Tours of the Tarleton observatory will take place throughout the evening, allowing visitors to see how astronomers conduct research and how the 32-inch Ritchey-Chretien reflecting telescope operates. The telescope features a computer controlled, high-resolution CCD imaging system to ensure accurate image capture for either research or projection.
Stargazers are invited to arrive any time after 6:30 p.m. and remain until 11 p.m. Visitors are asked to turn off vehicle headlights as they approach the observatory.
For a map to Hunewell Ranch and more information regarding Tarleton’s observatory, visit http://www.tarleton.edu/observatory.
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