Open house in astronomy focuses on Galileo's legacy

“The Great Telescopes: Galileo’s Legacy” will be the subject of the next Open House Night in Astronomy at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College.

Roger Knacke, professor of physics and astronomy, will present the Open House program at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 23, in 101 Otto Behrend Science Building. His free, nontechnical lecture will be followed by astronomical observing from the college’s Mehalso Observatory, weather permitting.

“2009 has been named the International Year of Astronomy in celebration of the 400th anniversary of Galileo’s first observations of the moon, planets and stars using a telescopic instrument,” Knacke explains. “With his telescope, he forever changed the pursuit of science as well as revolutionized the way humankind thinks about religion, philosophy, and our place in the universe.”

Knacke will discuss the evolution of the telescope from Galileo’s twenty-power instrument to the Hubble Space Telescope and its coming replacement, the James Webb Telescope. He’ll also introduce the planned Thirty Meter Telescope that will be constructed in either Chile or Hawaii by a partnership of the University of California, the California Institute of Technology, and ACURA, an organization of Canadian universities.

Open House Nights in Astronomy are an outreach of the Penn State Behrend School of Science intended for an audience ages 8 years and older. For additional information, contact the school at (814) 898-6105.


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Last Updated April 17, 2009