FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                        Date: March 10, 2003

  Contact: Charles Schweighauser, 206-6721


UIS’ popular Star Parties begin for spring


SPRINGFIELD The University of Illinois at Springfield’s popular Friday night Star Parties will begin for spring on March 28 and continue every Friday through April 25, weather permitting. Star Parties are from 8 to 10 p.m. in the UIS observatory.

Conducted by Charles Schweighauser, UIS professor of astronomy and physics, the Star Parties will use three telescopes to view a number of celestial objects including the planets Saturn and Jupiter and the moon, when visible.  The Orion Nebula, birthplace of new stars and, according to Schweighauser, “one of the most glorious sights to be seen through a telescope,” will also be featured.  Schweighauser added that “the rings of Saturn are at their most spectacular; we won’t see them in this detail for another hundred years.”

Star Parties are free and open to all ages. Reservations are not required and groups are encouraged to attend. The entrance to the campus observatory is located outside the southeast corner of Brookens Library.

To learn if weather is suitable for viewing, call the UIS Information Desk at 206-6600, at 7 p.m. on the evening of the Star Party.