FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                 Date: August 27, 2001

Contact: Donna McCracken

UIS observatory to host star parties

            SPRINGFIELD - University of Illinois at Springfield’s popular Friday night Star Parties will begin for the fall on September 7 and continue every Friday night through October 26, weather permitting. Star Parties are from 8 to 10 in the UIS observatory.

Three telescopes will be used to view the following celestial objects: Mars, the red planet; the Ring Nebula in Lyra, an exploding star; the Hercules globular star cluster, which brings a million stars into the telescope’s eyepiece; Albireo, a yellow and blue double star; and the moon, when visible.

Star Parties are conducted by UIS professor of astronomy and physics Charles Schweighauser and are free and open to the public. Reservations are not required and groups are encouraged to attend. The entrance to the campus observatory is located outside Brookens Library on the southeast corner. Questions about whether the weather is suitable for viewing should be directed to the UIS information desk, 206-6600, after 7 p.m. on the evening of the Star Party.