Rowan astronomers to open observatory to the public

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The Department of Physics and Astronomy at Rowan University and the University’s Edelman Planetarium will offer a free public open house at the campus observatory on Monday, April 2.

The Department of Physics and Astronomy at Rowan University and the University’s Edelman Planetarium will offer a free public open house at the campus observatory on Monday, April 2.

The 0.4-meter telescope in the observatory and smaller telescopes on the observing deck will be available on the fourth floor of Science Hall, between 7:30 p.m and 10 p.m. Visitors will be able to see Jupiter, Venus, Mars, the Moon, the Orion Nebula and various other celestial objects.

Short introductions to the night sky will be given in the planetarium, on the ground floor of Science Hall, at 7, 7:30 and 8 p.m.

Jupiter will be setting in the west at dusk, Venus will be in conjunction the Pleiades, and the Moon will be near Mars high in the sky. Also, Saturn will be rising in the east toward the end of the open house.

This event will be postponed to Tuesday, April 3, if the sky is cloudy; check the planetarium Web site, http://www.rowan.edu/planetarium/ on Monday afternoon for last-minute weather announcements.

The observatory can be reached using the elevator in the westernmost corner of Science Hall, which is located near the west end of the campus on the north side of Rt. 322. Visitors may park in Lot A near Science Hall.

This event is open to the public free of charge. Children are welcome, but parents are responsible for proper and safe behavior of their children. The observing deck will be dark, and there will be several telescopes in various places, so children should not be running during this event.

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