Higgins offers Feb. 1 ‘Cosmological Principle’ Sta...

Higgins offers Feb. 1 ‘Cosmological Principle’ Star Party

Dr. Charles Higgins will share his perspective of “The Cosmological Principle” during the MTSU Department of Physics and Astronomy’s next First Friday Star Party.

The Sloan Digital Sky Survey, shown above, is two separate surveys in one. Galaxies are identified in 2-D images, at right, then have their distance determined from their spectrum to create a 3-D map, left, that is 2 billion light-years deep. Each galaxy is shown as a single point and the color represents the luminosity. This survey only the 66,976 of the 205,443 galaxies in the map that lie near the plane of Earth’s equator. (Photo courtesy of Sloan Digital Sky Survey)

The event will be held starting at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1, in Wiser-Patten Science Hall Room 102.

Following Higgins’ 30- to 45-minute talk and weather permitting, attendees will go outside to utilize telescopes set up by the observatory. Attendees should dress warmly, because temperatures are expected to be 27 to 28 degrees.

“The Cosmological Principle in modern physical cosmology is the assumption that there is no special place in the universe,” Higgins, an associate professor, said.

“The view of the universe is the same and the laws of physics apply, no matter where you are located. This principle can be tested; these tests, examples, and consequences of this principle are presented and related to our understanding of the universe.”

To learn more about the spring First Friday Star Party series, visit

Free parking is available for star party attendees behind the Wiser-Patten building.

To reach the parking lot, turn off of East Main Street onto Baird Lane. Turn right onto Alumni Drive, and then turn left onto Friendship Street next to the Science Building construction site. Before the road starts to curve, turn left into the parking lot. Handicap parking requires a state permit.

For more information, contact Higgins at 615-898-5946 or Dr. Eric Klumpe at 615-898-2483, or call the physics and astronomy office at 615-898-2130.

— Randy Weiler (