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Astronomy Open House returns to West campus

October 12, 2011

Planets, stars and galaxies will come into focus as the Astronomy Open House returns to Arizona State University’s West campus from 7 to 9 p.m., Oct. 27. Hosted by New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences faculty member Paul Schimdtke, the star-gazing event takes place along the bike path immediately north of the Central Plant on the west side of campus.

The event is free and open to the public; visitor parking on campus costs $2 per hour.

“We’ve been hosting this event at the West campus at least once each semester since 1997,” said Schmidtke, an astronomer with professional interests in the area of double-star astronomy. “For many who join us, it is the first chance they have had to explore the sky through the lens of a telescope. Depending on sky conditions, there are a number of intriguing sights in the October sky that we expect to be able to see.”

The emphasis will be on Jupiter – but galaxies, double stars, star clusters and a variety of nebulae will also be visible. ASU telescopes will be available for viewing the sky, and members of the Phoenix Astronomical Society will once again support the evening’s activities.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for community members to come to the West campus and peek through a telescope to see what this desert sky has to offer,” said Schmidtke, who teaches general studies astronomy classes at the West campus. “People are so fascinated with the heavens because observing the sky is one activity that binds everyone together. Some people simply appreciate the beauty, while others want to know the details of how things work.”

For more information, contact Schmidtke at