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Astronomy Open House at West campus features moon, Jupiter

April 01, 2013

Telescope viewing of the moon and Jupiter will be the main attraction as the annual Astronomy Open House returns to ASU’s West campus, 4701 W. Thunderbird Road, on April 18. Hosted by New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences faculty member Paul Schmidtke, the stargazing event runs from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.

The free event will be held east of the FABNX building on the east side of campus. Parking is available in Lot 12 (the main visitor lot off University Way North) or in Lot 17 (a metered lot). Visitor parking 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 night sky with a telescope.”

Several types of telescopes will be available for public viewing, including some provided by members of the Phoenix Astronomical Society, which is once again supporting the activities.

 “This is a wonderful opportunity for community members to come to the West campus and peek through a telescope at what this desert sky has to offer,” said Schmidtke, who teaches 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, see or contact Schmidtke at