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Wichita State News

Special Fathers' Day Weekend at the observatory

Monday, June 13, 2011 | Share

In honor of fathers everywhere, Lake Afton Public Observatory is featuring a Fathers’ Day Weekend special 9-11 p.m. Friday, June 17, and Saturday, June 18.

Bring Dad or Grandpa to the observatory for the program “Thirty Years of Astronomy – the Dark Sky,” and they will receive free admission when accompanied by a paying child.

Participants will start by observing the mysterious ringed planet, Saturn, then move on to a binary star system and a huge tightly packed cluster of half a million stars. Then, participants will take a look at another galaxy that is 12 million light years away.

Observatory officials will discuss what astronomers have learned about objects like these during the past 30 years.

An exhibit area gives visitors an opportunity to make a telescope, explore the properties of light, learn about the phases of the moon, touch rocks from space, go on a scavenger hunt through the solar system or practice landing a spacecraft on the moon.

Outside, visitors can use small telescopes and binoculars to find objects in the night sky for themselves.

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 Monday, June 13, 2011; Last modified on Monday, June 13, 2011