Observation night attracts 450 students

Author: Grant Matthews

The 2012 Annual Star Party was held on Monday, September 24.  Over 450 students, faculty, staff and South Bend community members attended the event.

The 11-inch Cassegrain telescope with a CCD camera and four 8-inch Cassegrain telescopes from the Jordan Hall of Science observatory were set up next to the Clark Memorial Fountain. The first participants to arrive were treated to exceptional views of the first quarter Moon.  As the darkness grew deeper, attendees observed a few nebulae and globular clusters.

The first 400 attendees to look through the telescope received a t-shirt and were treated to Krispy Kreme doughnuts, provided by the dean’s office in the College of Science. 

Special recognition goes out to the observatory teaching assistants, the Society of Physics Students, and the faculty and staff of the Department of Physics and the College of Science.  It was a truly memorable time for all in attendance.

Physics Star Party 1Sept   star_party_2

Left photo: Observatory assistants Bailey Moser and Colin Littlefield set up the 11” Cassegrin telescope and the CCD Camera

Right photo: Physics Prof. Terry Rettig and graduate student Chris Wotta set up the 8" Cassegrin telescopes for the star party