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What is Earth's place in the Universe?

October 25, 2012

Come see the stars, learn about the world beneath your feet and do it all in costume at the free Earth and Space Open House hosted at Arizona State University’s Tempe campus, Oct. 26.

The open house, which will be Halloween themed, will take place from 8 to 10 p.m. on the roof of the Bateman Physical Sciences H-Wing, where there will be telescopes available for stargazing. 

Prior to the open house, at 7:15 p.m., there will be a 3D astronomy show in ISTB4. ISTB4 is located on the corner of Terrace and McAllister on the Tempe campus.

“The Earth and Space Open House is a great chance for people of all ages to learn more about our home planet, its history and how it formed, and our place in the universe," said Ray Sanders, an undergraduate research assistant.

For example, Sanders said, a current theory on how our moon formed is that a Mars-sized planet (or proto-planet) hit the early Earth with a glancing blow. The impacting object was vaporized along with some of Earth's crust and mantle.

“The debris then formed our moon,” Sander said. “There is evidence to support this theory in some of the lunar samples returned to Earth by Apollo missions.”

During the open house, guests will be able to take an astronomy quiz, study rocks with the GEO Club, examine real meteorites, view an “out-of-this-world” poster display, ask astronomers questions about the universe, uncover information about the seismic waves beneath the Earth’s crust with Earthscope and learn about our moon from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera mission.

To get to the open house, go to the main entrance to the Bateman H-wing. Free parking is available after 7 p.m. in the Tyler Street Parking Garage. From the garage go west along the University Drive sidewalk (toward campus) until you see signs leading you to the entrance.

The open house is supported by the GEO Club, Astro Devils Astronomy Club and School of Earth and Space Exploration graduate students. For more information, go to

Written by Ross McBeath

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