The U. of I. astronomy department will host its first open house April 23, telling guests to stop by the campus Observatory, 901 S. Mathews Ave., anytime between 1- 5 p.m. and 8-10 p.m.
This free event is kid-friendly, fun and educational. Weather permitting, telescopes will be available for guests to observe the sun during the afternoon session and the stars during the evening session.
There also will be tours of the historic 12-inch telescope (a National Historic Landmark), tours of the modern instrumentation laboratory for observational cosmology, a display of antique astronomical equipment from the Observatory and astronomy-inspired artwork from local artists.
From 1-5 p.m., there will be a series of short, public lectures tailored to nonscientists. The lectures (about 20 minutes each) will include the birth of stars, supernovae, black holes, galaxies and cosmology. Astronomy faculty members, researchers and students will be on hand to answer questions.
From 8-10 p.m. the historic 12-inch telescope will be set up to observe Jupiter and its moons. Professional astronomers will be available to answer astronomy-related questions. The format will be similar to the department’s popular Astronomy on Tap.
The event will happen rain or shine. The Observatory is just south of Smith Memorial Hall, which is on the Main Quad.