“A Summer Triangle Treasure Hunt” will be the subject for the first MTSU Department of Physics and Astronomy Star Party of the fall, starting at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6.
The talk by assistant professor Jana Ruth Ford will be held in Room 102 of Wiser-Patten Science Hall.
First Friday Star Parties are a way for the department to bring MTSU, Murfreesboro and surrounding communities together. There will be a lecture followed by telescope viewing outdoors, weather permitting, from 7:30 to 9 p.m.
The event is free and open to the public. Attendees should dress accordingly for the outdoor portion. Children are welcome.
To find free parking after 6 p.m. and Wiser-Patten, visit https://www.mtsu.edu/parking/2019ParkingMap.pdf online. Handicap parking requires a state permit.
“High overhead in the summer and autumn night skies, three bright stars define the Summer Triangle,” Ford said of her talk. “The milky white ribbon of light that runs through the triangle is our edge-on view of the disk of our very own Milky Way Galaxy.”
“Dark lanes of dust, known as the Great Rift, divide the starlit Milky Way,” Ford added. “Embedded in this region of the night sky are celestial treasures such as colorful stars and nebulae and a mysterious object, Cygnus X-1.” (Cygnus X-1 is widely accepted by astronomers to be a black hole.)
Other Star Parties this fall include:
• Sept. 27 — “Mars Colonization,” a special event with professor Chuck Higgins in a partnership with the MTSU Department of Art and Design.
• Oct. 4 — “Physics 101 Marvel Style: Conservation of Momentum,” led by professor Eric Klumpe.
• Nov. 1 — “Terraforming,” led by lecturer Irina Peravalova.
• Dec. 6 — “NASA Citizen Science Projects,” led by Higgins.
— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)