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UW-Eau Claire Astronomer to Discuss Variable Stars and Deaf Astronomers at Hobbs Observatory

RELEASED: Sept. 15, 2009

EAU CLAIRE — Dr. Lauren Likkel, professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, will present "Deaf Astronomers and Their Research on Variable Stars" at 8 p.m. Sept. 19 at Hobbs Observatory near the Beaver Creek Reserve Nature Center. A sign language interpreter will interpret the talk, which is free and open to the public.

Likkel will discuss variable stars, which are stars that change their brightness, usually because of an expansion in diameter. She also will talk about the early research done on these stars by three deaf astronomers from the 18th through the 20th centuries. She will discuss Algol (the demon star), eclipsing binary stars and Cepheid variables.

Following the presentation, participants can view the observatory's telescopes and, weather permitting, look through the telescopes or view the constellations. Participants are advised to dress warmly and bring a flashlight for walking from the car to the observatory.

The talk is part of the "Hobbs Observatory Astronomical Series" of free lectures offered at 8 p.m. on the third Saturday of every month (except December) and hosted by volunteers from the Chippewa Valley Astronomical Society.

Hobbs Observatory also is open to the public all Saturday nights May through October, if skies are clear, starting around 9 p.m. in September and ending before midnight. The observatory is located near the Beaver Creek Reserve Nature Center north of Fall Creek.

For more information, call Likkel at 715-836-5034.

-30-

NW/JB

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