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Astronomy Day Set for May 2 at UW-Eau Claire

RELEASED: April 29, 2009

EAU CLAIRE — The annual Astronomy Day for the Chippewa Valley will be held from 10 a.m.to 3 p.m. May 2 near the north entrance of Phillips Science Hall at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

Astronomy Day, sponsored by the Chippewa Valley Astronomical Society and the L.E. Phillips Planetarium, is free and open to the public. The event will include displays and activities about astronomy for all ages.

Activities include examining the sun using a solar-filtered telescope and a radio telescope. An outdoor demonstration of air pressure rockets will take place at noon, with rocket building and launching opportunities at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.

"Fascinating Factoids: Asterisms to Asteroids," a presentation by John Peterson, will begin at 12:30 p.m.

An hour-long children's planetarium show will be presented at 11 a.m. Cost is $2. Free 30-minute planetarium shows will be offered from noon to 2:30 p.m.

A complete schedule of activities is on the Web.

Astronomy software designed to help observers learn their way around the night sky also will be available to try.

Hobbs Observatory will be open at 9 p.m. since Astronomy Day also marks the beginning of weekly public observing nights at Hobbs Observatory, which is located across the road from the Beaver Creek Reserve nature center in Fall Creek. Volunteers from the Chippewa Valley Astronomical Society open the telescopes to the public every clear Saturday night from May through October.

For more information on Astronomy Day, contact the UW-Eau Claire physics and astronomy department at 715-836-3148.

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NW

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