Behrend astronomy program to focus on autumn skies

ERIE, Pa. — Autumn is always an ideal time for stargazing. This year, it’s pretty good for planet-gazing, too.

Some of the brightest planets, including Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, will be visible this fall in Erie. On Wednesday, Sept. 5, Darren Williams will discuss the planets and other astronomical objects that can be viewed with and without a telescope when Open House Nights in Astronomy returns to Penn State Behrend. His presentation, “Enjoying the Autumn Skies above Behrend College,” will begin at 7:30 p.m. in room 101 of the Otto Behrend Science Building. It is free and open to the public.

“Autumn evenings in Erie are generally warm and clear, and ideal for stargazing. This year is especially captivating because all of the brightest planets are clearly visible to evening observers,” said Williams, a professor of astronomy and astrophysics at the college.

During his talk, Williams also will discuss constellations and explain how the planets appear to move through them.

The lecture will be followed by a 15-minute Q&A session hosted by Williams. Telescopic observing will take place on the roof of the Burke Parking Deck on Technology Drive from 8:30 to 10 p.m. In the event of clouds, a free program on the night sky will be held in the Yahn Planetarium following the lecture.

Open House Nights in Astronomy are an outreach program of the School of Science at Penn State Behrend. These scientific presentations are intended for ages 8 and up; for additional information, contact the school at 814-898-6105.

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Last Updated August 24, 2018