The University of Wisconsin-River Falls Physics Department begins its fall season of free, public observatory viewings and astronomy discussions Tuesday, Oct. 24.
The first stargazing session begins with a talk, "Other Earths Out There?: Kepler's Final Count" by physics Professor Eileen Korenic at 8 p.m. in 271 Centennial Science Hall. Then, if the sky is clear, a telescope viewing session will follow at 8:30 p.m. on the third-floor observation deck. Uranus and Neptune should be visible as well as the waning crescent moon.
A faculty member or student will staff each telescope and be available to answer questions. Objects to be seen in the telescopes include planets, globular clusters, open clusters, nebulae, galaxies, moons and double stars.
To verify that the sky is clear enough for viewing, call 715-425-3560 after 6 p.m. or visit www.uwrf.edu/PHYS/Schedule.cfm. The talks, set for 8 p.m., will go on as scheduled regardless of the weather.
Since the viewing dome is unheated and the observation deck is outside, visitors should dress appropriately for the weather. The viewings and talks are suitable for all ages.
Other viewings this fall include:
• Wednesday, Nov. 15, at 8 p.m., "Cassini's Grand Finale: 'Crash' into Saturn" presented by Korenic in 271 Centennial Science Hall, followed by an 8:30 p.m. telescope viewing on the third-floor observatory deck if the sky is clear. The waning crescent moon should be visible.
• Tuesday, Dec. 12, at 8 p.m., "God's Eye on the Sky: The Vatican Observatory" presented by Korenic in 271 Centennial Science Hall, followed by an 8:30 p.m. telescope viewing on the third-floor observatory deck if the sky is clear. The waning crescent moon should be visible.
For more information about the observatory, email email@example.com or for more information about pre-observatory talks, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the UWRF Physics Department at 715-425-3560.