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Telescope view and viewers at UTSA Main Campus
(Photos by Mark McClendon)

'Friday Nights, Celestial Lights' astronomy event is June 19

By Christi Fish
Public Affairs Specialist

(June 17, 2009)--(Editor's Note, 4:30 p.m., Friday, June 19, 2009): The film screening will proceed as scheduled, but because of possible cloudy weather the status of the telescope observing will be determined at 8:30 p.m. See the latest updates on the Department of Physics and Astronomy Web site.)

The UTSA astronomy faculty invite the star-struck to to enjoy the fourth installment of its signature series, "Friday Nights, Celestial Lights," at 7:30 p.m., Friday, June 19 in Science Building Room 2.01.12 on the Main Campus. The event, which will include a movie and stargazing, is free and open to the public.

The June event will begin with a 7:30 p.m. showing of "Rocky Jones, Space Ranger: Crash of the Moons." The black-and-white film, based on a 1954 television series, unravels when a pair of populated "gypsy" moons threatens to collide with the planet Opheish. The planet's evil queen, Cleolantra, played by Patsy Parsons, refuses the help of the United Worlds and plots to destroy both the moons and the Space Rangers. Actor Richard Crane also stars.

Following the movie at approximately 9 p.m., weather permitting, attendees can view Earth's moon, Saturn's largest moon and other cosmic objects from the Science Building fourth-floor patio. UTSA's advanced collection of telescopes will be available for stargazing including a 15-inch Newtonian telescope and several 8-inch Cassegrain telescopes.

Sponsored by the Department of Physics and Astronomy, the UTSA astronomy events are inspired by the International Year of Astronomy, which commemorates the 400th anniversary of Galileo Galilei using a telescope to observe the heavens.

Reservations to attend the evening events are not required, but seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Both the lecture hall (Room SB 2.01.12) and the Science Building fourth-floor patio are wheelchair accessible.

For more information, contact Professor Eric Schlegel at (210) 458-6425) or lecturer Mark Jurena at (210) 458-4922).

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