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Learn about comets at Earth and Space Open House

comet ison
November 19, 2013

ASU’s Earth & Space Open House is set to take place from 7 to 10 p.m., Nov. 22, at the Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Building IV (ISTB 4) on ASU’s Tempe campus.

Visitors to the free event can attend a public lecture, gaze at the fall sky through telescopes, watch science demonstrations and explore the interactive displays in ISTB 4, which is located at the corner of McAllister and Terrace.

With the much-hyped arrival of the comet ISON this month, the theme for this Friday's event is comets and will feature both a public lecture on the role of comets in our Solar System and a special comet demonstration.

Steven Desch, associate professor in ASU's School of Earth and Space Exploration, will talk about comets. The lecture, titled “Icy Messengers from Beyond - Exploring the Role of Comets in our Solar System,” will be held at 8:00 p.m. in the Marston Exploration Theater. Desch will be discussing comets in general and ISON in particular, as well as the role of comets in art and history.

Lectures are 45 minutes long, followed by a 15-minute Q & A session. Seating is on a first come basis.

There will be two 3-D planetarium shows in the Marston Exploration Theater at 7:00 p.m. and 9:15 p.m.

Telescopes will be set up from 8 to 10 p.m. on the top level of the Rural Road parking structure next to ISTB 4.

To get to the open house, go to the main entrance of ISTB 4, located on the building’s north side.

The monthly open house is partially sponsored by The School of Earth and Space Exploration, GeoClub and AstroDevils: ASU Astronomy Club. The next Earth & Space Open House will be held February 21, 2014.

For more information, visit

The School of Earth and Space Exploration is an academic unit of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.