UTSA 'Friday Nights, Celestial Lights' series focuses on gamma-ray energies Jan. 18

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(Jan. 14, 2013) -- UTSA faculty astronomers invite the community to attend "Friday Nights, Celestial Lights," featuring Eric Schlegel, Vaughan Family Professor of Physics and Astronomy at UTSA. The free family-friendly astronomy event is open to the public, and is scheduled at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Jan. 18 in Science Building Room 2.02.02 on the UTSA Main Campus.

Schlegel will discuss gamma-ray energies, the highest observable energies, greater in strength then X-rays. Schlegel will describe the NASA gamma-ray satellite Fermi, as well as a technique that permits observing gamma-rays using special ground-based telescopes.

Following Schlegel's presentation, weather permitting, attendees can view the night sky using UTSA's telescopes including a 15-inch telescope and several 8-inch Cassegrain telescopes. Night viewing will be from the fourth-floor patio of the Science Building, which is wheelchair accessible. Currently, the Orion Nebula, the Pleiades and Jupiter are all visible in the night sky.

"Friday Nights, Celestial Lights" lectures and viewings began in 2009 as a celebration of the International Year of Astronomy, commemorating the 400th anniversary of Galileo Galilei using a telescope to observe the heavens.

The UTSA Department of Physics and Astronomy hosts the recurring program on the third Friday each month when classes are in session.

For more information, contact Eric Schlegel, UTSA Vaughan Family Professor, at 210-458-6425 or Mark Jurena, UTSA astronomy lecturer, at 210-458-4922.