Galileo Galilei and telescope

Observe night sky: Friday Nights, Celestial Lights

By Eric Schlegel
Endowed Professorship in Physics and Astronomy

(March 30, 2009)--To commemorate the 400th anniversary of the first use of the astronomical telescope in 1609 by Galileo Galilei, the UTSA Department of Physics and Astronomy will host the second "Friday Nights, Celestial Lights" events April 2-3. The events are part of the International Year of Astronomy.

Free and open to the public, the two-day UTSA event will feature solar gazing and short astronomy lectures. (See the schedule of events below.)

Weather permitting, attendees also can view the crescent moon, Saturn and other cosmic objects using UTSA's advanced collection of telescopes. The collection includes a 15-inch Newtonian telescope and several 8-inch Cassegrain telescopes.

All venues for UTSA's April 2-3 "Friday Nights, Celestial Lights" events are wheelchair accessible. Seating in the lecture hall is limited and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Parking will be available at $1 per hour in the South Parking Garage adjacent to the Science Building. Payment is made by presenting the ticket received on entry with payment at the central cashier station on the first floor of the garage. Payment is made before returning to the vehicle. The South Parking Garage and cashier station close at 10 p.m.

>> To learn more about "Friday Nights, Celestial Lights" or the International Year of Astronomy, contact professors Daniel Boice, Eric Schlegel or Mark Jurena.

>> Learn more about the UTSA physics and astronomy programs.


"Friday Nights, Celestial Nights" events

Thursday, April 2

  • 1-4 p.m. -- A small telescope will be placed on the lawn adjacent to the Science Building, allowing spectators to view the sun.
  • 7:30 p.m. -- Eric Schlegel, UTSA Vaughan Family Professor of Physics and Astronomy, will speak on the search for extrasolar planets. The lecture will be in Science Building Room 2.01.12, Main Campus.
  • 8:30 p.m. -- If the night sky is clear, there will be a telescope viewing of the night sky from the Science Building fourth-floor patio.

Friday, April 3

  • 11 a.m.-2 p.m. -- There will be solar viewing from the lawn adjacent to the Science Building, Main Campus.
  • 7:30 p.m. -- Eric Schlegel will present a 40-minute lecture on the search for life beyond Earth in Science Building Room 2.01.12. Weather permitting, UTSA telescopes again will be available for viewing the night sky from the Science Building fourth-floor patio.

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