Tarleton observatory invites public to annual fall Star Party

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STEPHENVILLE (October 14, 2016) — Tarleton State University’s Program for Astronomy Education and Research will hold its annual fall Star Party, Friday, Oct. 21, at the Hunewell Ranch observatory. The event is free and open to the public.

Visitors will have the opportunity to gaze at stars and deep space objects, as well as several planets, through Tarleton’s 32-inch reflecting research telescope and several smaller telescopes, which will be made available just after sunset or at approximately 7 p.m.

Visitors are encouraged to bring their own telescopes, set up on one of two concrete pads, and share the view with others, said Larry Barr, manager of Tarleton’s planetarium.

Tours of the Tarleton observatory and 32-inch Ritchey-Chretien reflecting telescope will be offered throughout the evening, allowing visitors to see how professional astronomy is conducted and how the equipment operates. The telescope was designed and fabricated by Astronomical Consultants & Equipment of Tucson, Ariz., and features a computer-controlled, high resolution CCD imaging system to ensure accurate image capture for either research or projection.

Stargazing will continue until 11 p.m. Visitors are asked to turn off their headlights as they approach the observatory. Free coffee and hot cocoa will be provided.

Up-to-date information regarding the star party, including a possible cancellation due to weather, can be obtained by calling 254-968-0523 one day prior to the event.

In the event rain or cloudy skies cause the event’s cancellation on Oct. 21, the Star Party will be move to Friday, Oct. 28.

For a map to Hunewell Ranch and more information regarding Tarleton’s observatory, visit http://www.tarleton.edu/observatory.

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