SPRINGFIELD – The University of Illinois at Springfield will hold a special Star Party for people with disabilities on Sunday evening, October 21, at 8 p.m., weather permitting, in the UIS observatory. The Star Party is free, but reservations are required.
The featured object for viewing will be the moon.
Sunday Star Parties are conducted by Charles Schweighauser and John Martin, UIS professors of astronomy and physics. The sessions use a telescope specially designed to give people with disabilities access to the sky.
The modified eight-inch Schmidt Cassegrain telescope employs a traditional optical design but with a fixed eyepiece that brings the image to the viewer. This eyepiece can be moved backward and forward in its tube as much as seven inches without refocusing, and can accommodate anyone from a large person in a high wheelchair to a child in the lowest, smallest wheelchair. A laptop computer runs the telescope, eliminating the need for a large keyboard and monitor that can emit too much distracting light on the dark observation deck.To make a reservation for the Sunday Star Party, or for more information, contact Schweighauser at 206-6721 no later than Friday, October 12.