Western Carolina University’s Department of Chemistry and Physics will host an evening telescope viewing party beginning at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 4, at the Jackson County Airport overlooking the WCU campus.
Part of the 2014 North Carolina Science Festival, the event is designed to give members of the campus and surrounding communities an up-close view of stars, the moon and the planets Mars and Jupiter through telescopes at various magnifications.
Enrique Gomez, assistant professor of physics and astronomy at WCU, will give a brief presentation on identifying well-know constellations and stars that can be seen in the sky during the spring season.
“In the past, this event has been popular with children and their parents, as well,” Gomez said. “Everyone remembers the first time they saw the moon through a telescope.”
The viewing is open free of charge, and members of the public are welcome to bring their own telescopes. In the event the evening is overcast, the viewing will be canceled. Young children must be accompanied by an adult. Participants are encouraged to dress warmly.
The North Carolina Science Festival is a twoweek statewide series of events (such as the telescope viewing) that showcase science, technology, engineering and mathematics, also known as STEM programs. It includes handson activities, science talks, lab tours, nature experiences, exhibits, performances and other events for all ages.
“The North Carolina Science Festival is about communities coming together to celebrate the wonders of science,” said Jonathan Frederick, NCSF director. “Thanks to the talents of our event hosts across the state, there’s something for everyone.”