Celebrate 400 years of the telescope at star-gazing event

Celestial sights including the moon, Venus and Saturn will come into clear focus through telescopes set up for public viewing at Arizona State University’s West campus, from 7-9 p.m., March 4.<br /><br />This year’s version of the popular Astronomy Open House program takes on special significance because of 2009’s designation as the International Year of Astronomy. As participants look skyward, they will be helping to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Galileo’s development of the telescope.<br /><br />The Astronomy Open House has been a campus tradition for more than a decade. “It’s literally fun for the whole family,” says Paul Schmidtke, senior lecturer in astronomy with <a href="http://www.newcollege.asu.edu/&quot; target="_blank">ASU’s New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences</a>. “For many participants, it’s the first chance they’ve ever had to look at the stars through a telescope.”<br /><br />The event is free and open to the public.<br /><br />Telescopes will be set up along the bicycle path west of the multipurpose field, near the Central Plant building. ASU’s West campus is at 4701 W. Thunderbird Road in Phoenix.<br /><br />For more information about the Astronomy Open House, contact Schmidtke at <a href="mailto:paul.schmidtke@asu.edu">paul.schmidtke@asu.edu</a&gt;. Details about the International Year of Astronomy may be found at <a href="http://www.astronomy2009.org/">www.astronomy2009.org/</a&gt;. <br /></p>