Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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October 12, 2013

Observe the Moon Night at IUK

Observatory will host moon-watching event tonight.

Indiana University Kokomo is among hundreds of sites celebrating International Observe the Moon Night this weekend.

The university’s observatory will be open for the event from 8 to 10 p.m. today.

Patrick Motl, assistant professor of physics, will present current thoughts about how the moon formed. In addition, the observatory will host its regular monthly open house from 8 to 10 p.m. Sunday.

“The date of this worldwide event was selected to have a good view of the line separating sunlight and shadow on the moon’s face,” Motl said. “This gives a great opportunity to see the three-dimensional structure of craters and mountains through a telescope.”

International Observe the Moon Night is organized by a team of scientists, educators and moon enthusiasts representing government, non-profit organizations and businesses around the world. The goal is to give people an opportunity to take notice of the moon’s beauty and to instill a sense of wonderment and curiosity about the moon. IU Kokomo’s Observatory is one of hundreds worldwide registered to host events. In 2012, nearly 600 sites participated.

At Sunday’s open house, Motl will open the event with a presentation on pulsars, which are rapidly rotating neutron stars.

Stargazers will be able to see the planet Venus and a waxing gibbous moon, along with highlights from the Summer Triangle, which is overhead at sunset.

The Observatory’s telescopes are a six-inch Takahashi refracting telescope and a 16-inch Meade reflecting telescope mounted together. The Takahashi provides exceptionally sharp images of planets, while the Meade allows viewers to see fainter objects in the sky, due to its larger light collecting area.

The open house is free and open to the public in the observatory, 105 E. Rebecca Lane. Free parking is available on campus.

For more information about International Observe the Moon Night, go to observethemoonnight.org.

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