Penn State Behrend to hold activities for National Astronomy Day

April 30, 2014

Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, will host an evening of solar and telescopic observations in recognition of National Astronomy Day on May 10.

The activities begin at 7 p.m. near the Mehalso Observatory and are free and open to the public. The evening is hosted by Darren Williams, professor of physics and astronomy and Jim Gavio, director of the planetarium located at Penn State Behrend.

The event begins with solar observations through specially filtered telescopes near the observatory. Then, at 8 and 9 p.m., Williams and Gavio will discuss expected sightings in room 101 of the Otto Behrend Building, with continued observing in the Mehalso Observatory as the skies permit.

Visitors can expect to see the moon, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn during the observations. The evening’s activities are intended for ages 8 and up.

“It’s an event that we try to make convenient for the public because normally you have to go out to a remote, dark place in the middle of the night to (get ideal observations of) the planets and stars,” Gavio said. “That’s just not convenient for families. This event is meant to bring astronomy to the people.”

For more information, contact Gavio at 814-898-7268 or email

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated May 01, 2014