College of Engineering

Observatory at UMass Dartmouth Open on December 15

The UMass Dartmouth Observatory and the Astronomical Society of Southern New England (ASSNE) are pleased to invite the general public to a free, night-sky viewing at the newly renovated campus Observatory on Saturday, December 15  at 7 p.m.

Viewing will take place through the Observatory's 16-inch telescope and other large telescopes operated by ASSNE members. Note well in all reports that this event will take place only if the weather permits (clear skies). Visitors may check on status of the event by going to http://www.assne.org/ or calling (508) 999-8715.

Visitors will have the opportunity to view many celestial objects, including Comet 17P Holmes, a previously obscure comet that flared to naked eye brightness in October, exciting astronomers around the world. Returning Comet 8P Tuttle will also be observed as well as the Planet Mars, which reaches its closest approach to Earth this year in mid December and the Geminid Meteor Shower.

The Observatory is located in the field to the right of the main entrance to UMass Dartmouth off Old Westport Rd., North Dartmouth, Massachusetts. Parking is available in designated spaces on the campus Ring Road or in lot 17. Admission is free, although donations to the Observatory Development Fund are appreciated. Children are welcome, if accompanied by an adult.

For further information, please contact Prof. Alan Hirshfeld at 508-999-8715 or at ahirshfeld@umassd.edu. If you wish to be placed on a mailing list for announcements of future Observatory open houses, please send your name, postal address, and email address to ahirshfeld@umassd.edu.

The Astronomical Society of Southern New England is a non-profit club of amateur astronomers who serve Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts with educational outreach programs and public viewing. ASSNE assists UMass Dartmouth in operating the University Observatory and telescope for public viewings. The ASSNE motto is:  "To Educate and Inspire."

For more information about The Astronomical Society of Southern New England, check online at http://www.assne.org/.  For more information on Mars, go to http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2007/21aug_hurtlingtomars.htm

To Learn more about Comet 17P Holmes,and Comet 8P Tuttle, check online at http://www.spaceweather.com/. For more info on the Geminid Meteors, check online at http://stardate.org/nightsky/meteors/.


Author:  "Alan Hirshfeld"
Date:  11-12-2007
Submitted by:  C. Allen
Department:  College Of Engineering

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