Logo

Sept. 2 ‘Fall Sky: Messier Top 10’ kicks off MTSU First Friday Star Parties

“Fall Sky: Messier Top 10” is MTSU physics and astronomy associate professor Chuck Higgins’ topic for fall 2016’s inaugural First Friday Star Party, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 2 in Science Building Room 1006.

The star party is free and open to the public, and children and families are welcome.

Free parking is available after 6 p.m. Friday near the Science Building. A printable campus parking map is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap.

A 2009 file photo of the MTSU observatory showing a picture of M57 (Messier 57), called the Ring Nebula, in the northern constellation of Lyra. (Submitted photo)

A 2009 file photo of the MTSU observatory shows a picture of M57, or Messier 57, also called the Ring Nebula, in the northern constellation of Lyra. Astronomer Messier’s work is the topic of the inaugural fall 2016 First Friday Star Party at MTSU Sept. 2. [(Submitted photo)

Dr. Chuck Higgins

Dr. Chuck Higgins

First Friday Star Parties are a way for the Department of Physics and Astronomy to bring the MTSU, Murfreesboro and surrounding communities together. Each event features a special lecture, followed by telescope viewing, weather permitting.

Other First Friday Star Parties this fall will include:

  • Oct. 7 — “Gravity Waves,” led by lecturer Rob Mahurin.
  • Nov. 4 — “Funky Fizix in Film,” led by Dr. Eric Klumpe.
  • Dec. 2 — A still-to-be-determined topic, led by instructor Irina Perevalova. A public choice vote at the Sept. 2 and Oct. 7 events will decide the topic, so be sure to attend both to provide your input!

Higgins’ talk will focus on Charles Messier, an 18th-century French astronomer interested in comets.

“He created a list of nebulous objects in 1774 that were not comets, now called the Messier Catalog,” Higgins said. “There are 110 objects in the updated catalog, and they are favorite targets for observers. I will highlight the top 10 Messier objects for the fall skies.”

For more information about the series or MTSU’s astronomy program, call 615-898-2130 or visit www.mtsu.edu/programs/astronomy.

— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)

Click on the poster to see a larger version.

Click on the poster to see a larger version.