Save the Date: February 15
Austin College’s Adams Observatory opens its doors to the greater community for a Star Party on Friday, February 15, inviting visitors to search the universe through the largest research telescope in North Texas. Members of the community are welcome to attend the free come-and-go event, 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., but should register in advance under the “Upcoming Events” link.
In addition to the telescope viewing, various indoor activities, including tours of the observatory, are scheduled so the event will continue regardless of clouds or weather. Adams Observatory is located in the College’s IDEA Center.
Dr. David Baker, chair of the Physics Department and director of Adams Observatory, said, “We want the community to view the night sky with childlike wonder. With the powerful Adams Observatory telescope, guests will be able to see celestial objects in a whole new way.”
The telescope will point toward Orion’s Nebula, a giant gas cloud where new stars are forming, Baker said. Weather conditions permitting, the Moon and Mars may be visible from the small telescopes that will be available on the nearby College Green.
The IDEA Center is located at 1108 E. Richards Street, and parking is available nearby. Visitors meet outside the main entrance of the IDEA Center, and guests will be taken to the Observatory in small groups on a first-come, first-served basis. More telescopes will be available on the roof and lawn. Other cosmic-themed activities will take place in the IDEA Center. Students and faculty will be on hand to assist and provide details about the night’s featured objects.
“We have added a number of activities for kids of all ages,” Baker added. “Rain or shine, you will be able to gain a new perspective of our amazing universe.”
Austin College, a private national liberal arts college located north of Dallas in Sherman, Texas, has earned a reputation for excellence in academic preparation, international study, pre-professional foundations, leadership development, committed faculty, and hands-on, adventurous learning opportunities. One of 40 schools profiled in Loren Pope’s influential book Colleges That Change Lives, Austin College boasts a welcoming community that embraces diversity and individuality, with 46 percent of students identifying as persons of color. The residential student body of approximately 1,300 students and more than 100 expert faculty members allow a 13:1 student-faculty ratio and personalized attention. This year, the campus recognizes 100 years of co-education and has had several opportunities to recognize the history of women and accomplishments of current alumnae. Austin College is related by covenant to the Presbyterian Church (USA) and cultivates an inclusive atmosphere that supports students’ faith journeys regardless of religious tradition. Founded in 1849, the College is the oldest institution of higher education in Texas operating under original name and charter.