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Euclid mission focus of November Observatory open house

Nov 8, 2023
IU Kokomo Observatory
IU Kokomo Observatory

KOKOMO, Ind. — Learn more about a six-year mission to study dark energy, galaxy evolution, and dark matter in space at the Indiana University Kokomo Observatory’s November open house.

Patrick Motl, professor of physics, will begin the open house at 7 p.m. with a presentation about the European Space Agency’s (ESA)Euclid mission. Euclid, which launched July 1 from Cape Canaveral, Florida, released its first five science images Tuesday. The new images include views of a large cluster of thousands of distant galaxies, close-ups of two nearby galaxies, a gravitationally bound group of stars called a globular cluster, and a nebula (a cloud of gas and dust in space where stars form), all depicted in vibrant colors.

NASA is collaborating with the ESA on the mission, which is expected to produce the most extensive 3D map of the universe yet, covering nearly one-third of the sky and containing billions of galaxies up to 10 billion light-years away from earth.

After the presentation, stargazers may be able to see Jupiter and Saturn with the great square of Pegasus high in the early evening sky through the Observatory’s 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.
Observation will continue through 9 p.m., weather permitting.

The Observatory is at 2660 S. Washington Street. Free parking is available on campus.

Education is KEY at Indiana University Kokomo.

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