The University of Wisconsin-River Falls Physics Department begins its spring season of free public observatory viewings and astronomy talks on Tuesday, Feb. 5. Objects to be seen include planets, globular clusters, open clusters, nebulae, galaxies, moons, and double stars.
The first stargazing (new moon, Uranus and Mars setting) session includes Professor Eileen Korenic presenting "Spacecraft Beyond Pluto: Where Are They Now?" at 8 p.m. in 271 Centennial Science Hall, located at the corner of Sixth Street and East Cascade Avenue. The discussion precedes the 8:30 p.m. telescope viewing on the observation deck on third floor.
All observatory viewings are dependent on a clear sky. Please call 715-425-3560 after 6 p.m. or visit https://www.uwrf.edu/PHYS/Observatory.cfm to verify that the sky is clear enough for viewing. The talk will go on as scheduled regardless of the sky.
A Physics Department faculty member and/or student will staff each telescope and be available to answer questions at each open telescope session. Observers are encouraged to stay and look at as many elements as possible and request personal observing targets.
Since the dome is unheated and the observing deck is outside open to the elements, visitors should dress appropriately for the weather. The viewings and talks are suitable for all ages.
Other viewings this semester include:
• Wednesday, March 13, 8 p.m., "China on the Moon: The Second Rabbit" presented by Professor Eileen Korenic in 271 Centennial Science Hall, followed by an 8:30 p.m. telescope viewing (waxing crescent moon, Mars) on the observation deck on third floor.
• Wednesday, April 10, 8 p.m., "Impacts from Space: Should We Worry?" by Professor Eileen Korenic in 271 Centennial Science Hall, followed by an 8:30 p.m. telescope viewing (waxing crescent moon and Mars visible until about 9 p.m.) on the observation deck on third floor.