Planets, the moon and the colorful double star Alberio will all be viewable at the three fall open houses of the Osten Observatory at Concordia. The observatory will be open Sept. 4 from 8:30 to 10 p.m. and Oct. 2 and Nov. 6 from 8 to 9:30 p.m. Admittance is free, and the public is invited to attend.
Visitors will be able to view the planets and stars through Concordia’s computer-controlled telescope. Professor of Physics Dr. Robert Hermann will share a brief explanation of each item, and visitors may ask questions. Viewing all objects takes approximately 15 minutes.
“Looking through a telescope to see features on these objects that are familiar and yet so different from anything you see on Earth gives people a personal connection to the objects in a way that nothing else can,” Hermann said. “It is the best way to get the sense of awe and wonder about the beauty and magnificence of the universe.”
The open houses will feature close-up views of the moon, a look at the remains of a burned out star called the Ring Nebula and a view of Alberio, a colorful double star outside the solar system. Saturn and Mars will be viewable at the Sept. 4 open house, Neptune is predicted to be visible onOct. 2 and Andromeda, our neighbor galaxy with hundreds of billions of stars, will be shown on Nov. 6.
The observatory is located at the northeast corner of campus along East Hillcrest Drive in Seward. The path to the observatory is not paved, so visitors should prepare to walk across a short length of field. If sky conditions are cloudy or excessive winds occur at the open house starting time, the viewing will be cancelled.
The observatory and telescope were gifted to Concordia in 2002 by 1933 alumnus Reuben Osten and his wife, Doris.