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UTSA’s Friday Nights, Celestial Lights program explores neon-oxygen in Sun

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(May 14, 2013) -- UTSA faculty astronomers invite the community to attend "Friday Nights, Celestial Lights," featuring Eric Schlegel, UTSA Vaughan Family Professor of Physics and Astronomy. Free and open to the public, the family-friendly astronomy event is 7:30 p.m., Friday, May 17 in Flawn Sciences Building Room 2.02.02 on the UTSA Main Campus.

The program for May will explore the neon-oxygen ratio in the Sun and other stars -- with discussion of what that means.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, solar astronomers thought they had the Sun figured out. Then, along came an optical astronomer who re-measured the quantity of neon and oxygen in the Sun. Suddenly, the newly minted model of the Sun looked rather disheveled and discredited. Why is that? What is the explanation? Schlegel will offer insight.

Following Schlegel's presentation, weather permitting, attendees can view the night sky using UTSA's telescopes including a 15-inch telescope and several 8-inch Cassegrain telescopes. Night viewing will be from the fourth-floor patio of the Flawn Sciences Building, which is wheelchair accessible. The moon will be in the sky with Saturn visible by 9 p.m.

The "Friday Nights, Celestial Lights" program is regularly promoted on the UTSA Astronomy Facebook page. The May program will be the last before summer; the events will resume in September.

"Friday Nights, Celestial Lights" lectures and viewings began in 2009 as a celebration of the International Year of Astronomy, commemorating the 400th anniversary of Galileo Galilei using a telescope to observe the heavens. The UTSA Department of Physics and Astronomy hosts the program on the third Friday of each month when classes are in session.

For more information, contact Eric Schlegel, UTSA Vaughan Family Professor, at 210-458-6425 or Mark Jurena, UTSA astronomy lecturer, at 210-458-4922.



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