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Learn about exoplanet discovery at Observatory open house

Nov 9, 2021
IU Kokomo Observatory
IU Kokomo Observatory

KOKOMO, Ind. – Learn more about possible detection of the first planet in an external galaxy, at the November 14 Indiana University Kokomo Observatory open house.

Patrick Motl, professor of physics, will begin the open house at 7 p.m. Sunday with discussion of M51-ULS-1b, a potential exoplanet, or planet outside our solar system, 28 million light-years away in the Whirlpool galaxy. The discovery, using NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, was announced in late October.

After the presentation, stargazers may look at the stars and planets through the Observatory’s two telescopes, a six-inch Takahashi refracting telescope and a 16-inch Meade reflecting telescope mounted together. The Takahashi provides exceptionally sharp images of planets, while the Meade allows viewers to see fainter objects in the sky, due to its larger light-collecting area. 

“For the skies that night, we will have the moon, Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus,” Motl said. “In addition, we will have highlights from the fall skies like the Andromeda galaxy and winter highlights like the Pleiades will be rising as the night proceeds.”

Viewing will continue until 9 p.m., weather permitting.

The Observatory is at 2660 S. Washington Street. Admission and parking are free.

IU requires that masks be worn at all indoor events.

Education is KEY at Indiana University Kokomo.

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