UTSA 'Friday Nights, Celestial Lights' Nov. 15 event focuses on Comet ISON

Comet ISON

Comet ISON

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(Nov. 12, 2013) -- UTSA faculty astronomers invite the community to attend "Friday Nights, Celestial Lights," featuring Eric Schlegel, Vaughan Family Professor of Physics and Astronomy in the UTSA College of Sciences. The free, family-friendly astronomy event is 7:30 p.m., Friday, Nov. 15 in Flawn Science Building Room 2.02.02 on the Main Campus.

Schlegel's presentation will focus on Comet ISON, which is headed toward the Sun and is expected to pass 730,000 miles above the Sun's surface. Its closest approach is expected to be approximately at Thanksgiving.

Comet ISON is predicted to be the "Comet of the Century," but is it still showing that promise or will it be an epic fail? Schlegel will discuss the comet's journey.

Following Schlegel's 40-minute presentation, and weather permitting, attendees can view the night sky using UTSA's telescopes including a 15-inch telescope and several 8-inch Cassegrain telescopes. Telescope viewing will be on the fourth-floor patio of the Flawn Science Building, which is wheelchair accessible. The Ring Nebula in Lyra and the Moon will be visible with a clear sky.

The UTSA Department of Physics and Astronomy hosts the event on the third Friday of each month during the fall and spring semesters. The programs are regularly updated on the UTSA Astronomy Facebook page. The next program is Friday, Jan. 17.

"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.

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