The College of Charleston Observatory (58 Coming Street) will be open to the public on Friday, September 21, 2012 from 8:30 until 10:00 p.m. There is no cost for this event and children are welcome.
Stargazers will be able to see both Mars and the Moon early, but both will set during the event. Astronomy Professor Laura Penny says the Moon is in a good phase (waxing crescent) for observing because shadows will be visible, which provide good contrast for the surface features. She says observers will probably see some double stars and is hopeful the Andromeda galaxy might be visible.
Astronomers from the Department of Physics and Astronomy will be manning four eight-inch telescopes and the 16-inch telescope in the observatory dome. They will be able to answer any questions observers have while gazing.
Stargazers should enter the Rita Liddy Hollings Science Center (58 Coming Street) through the Coming Street entrance and check in with the Society of Physics Students host, who will direct you to the location of the indoor and outdoor activities. Please note open-toe shoes are not permitted on the observing deck and if you plan to bring a large group (10 or more), or if you will need special accommodations, please contact Chris True at firstname.lastname@example.org or 843-953-2031.
For further information and last-minute weather alerts, please refer to our website www.cofc.edu/observatory.
The Department of Physics and Astronomy will hold several more open houses at the Observatory, however as the sunset times change, the times for this event will also change.