See Jupiter and Venus at I.U. Kokomo Observatory Open House

The planets Jupiter and Venus will be the stars of the show at the Indiana University Kokomo Observatory’s monthly open house, from 7 to 10 p.m. Sunday, February 12.

Stargazers should see at least three planets in the sky that night.

Patrick Motl, assistant professor of physics, said Jupiter and Venus are the prominent planets visible early in the evening, and Neptune is also up early in the evening.

“The winter hexagon is prominent this time of year, including several good objects like the Orion nebula, a nearby region of star formation and open star clusters like the Pleiades and Praesepe, the beehive cluster,” he said.

Motl will present a brief update from the recent American Astronomical Society meeting at 7 p.m. Observation begins after his presentation, weather permitting.

The Observatory at IU Kokomo features two telescopes mounted together – a six-inch Takahashi refracting telescope and a 16-inch Meade reflecting telescope. The Takahashi provides exceptionally sharp images of planets, while the Meade lets stargazers see fainter objects in the sky, due to its larger light collecting area.

The Kokomo Astronomy Club will also be present on Sunday to set up their own personal telescopes, which will allow for a variety of views.

The event is free and open to the public.The Observatory opens its doors to the Kokomo community on the second Sunday of each month. The next open house is scheduled for March 11.

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