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Wichita State News

Mother's Day weekend special at Lake Afton Public Observatory

Friday, April 30, 2010

In honor of Mother's Day, Lake Afton Public Observatory is offering the following special: Bring mom or grandma to the observatory from 9-11 p.m. Friday, May 7, and Saturday, May 8, for the program "Big, Bigger and Biggest," and they will receive free admission when accompanied by a paying child.

When compared to other objects in the universe, Earth is a small, insignificant object. During "Big, Bigger and Biggest," LAPO will look at Saturn, a giant star, a cluster of stars and another galaxy through the observatory's 16-inch telescope to get a better perspective on just how small Earth is.

In addition to viewing through the telescope, visitors can enjoy displays and activities, including exhibits that allow patrons to make a telescope, explore the properties of light, learn about the phases of the Moon, the Cassini mission to Saturn, or touch a space rock.

Visitors may also use the computers to go on a scavenger hunt through the solar system or practice landing a spacecraft on the moon. LAPO also has small telescopes and binoculars outside that visitors may use to find objects in the night sky.

The observatory is located about 20 miles southwest of downtown Wichita on MacArthur Road at 247th St. West in Lake Afton County Park. Admission is $4 for adults and $3 for children 6-12; children under 6 are admitted free. 

The observatory is open Friday and Saturday from 9-11 p.m. May 1 through Aug. 31. Current programs and times, along with events taking place in the sky, are available in a recorded message by calling WSU-STAR (978-7827).

Lake Afton Public Observatory is operated by the Fairmount Center for Science and Mathematics Education, a part of the Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Science at Wichita State University.

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Created on Friday, April 30, 2010; Last modified on Friday, April 30, 2010