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Enjoy action in the sky through telescopes at astronomy center

Dumbbell nebula, discovered by Charles Messier in 1764.You’ll see the Dumbbell nebula. See sun spots. And maybe a comet.

Visit the UNT Sky Theater Planetarium April 6 to enjoy the action in the sky and watch the theater’s new summer show “Dawn of the Space Age.”  

UNT Astronomy is hosting an open house event beginning at 5 p.m. in the Rafes Urban Astronomy Center where you can enjoy safe sun, comet and night sky viewing, as well as be eligible for a telescope giveaway.

“Dawn of the Space Age” recaps historic space milestones including the launch of the first artificial satellite, Sputnik, to the lunar landings and privately operated space flights. The program is geared toward audiences from fifth grade and up.

Attendees will then travel to the UNT Rafes Urban Astronomy Center for safe sun viewing through specially-equipped solar telescopes and night sky viewing. Attendees will also have a chance at seeing the Comet Panstarrs. Those with smart phones will be able to take photos through the center’s telescopes.

“If this wasn’t enough, we also will have a drawing for a brand new Dobsonian telescope to be given away at 10 p.m.,” said Preston Starr, center manager. “The telescope will be on display, and chances to win can be purchased for $5 each.”

Admission is cash or check only, and is $7 for children and UNT students, $8 for seniors and UNT staff, and $9 for adults. To attend only the planetarium presentation, admission is $3 for children and UNT students, $4 for seniors and UNT staff, and $5 for adults. To attend only the Rafes center event, admission is $5 per person.

The Dumbbel nebula? That's it at right. It is about 1,360 light years away, and was discovered in 1764. The name comes from its shape.

Sun spots are temporary dots on the sun caused by magnetic activity.

Posted on: Wed 03 April 2013

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