On the moderately cold, crisp night of June 28th the Department of Physics hosted OSU’s First Astronomy Open House. The event, set up by graduate students Tyler Parsotan and Atul Chhotray, gave over a hundred children and adults alike an opportunity to experience physics and astronomy.
Attendees were able to experience what happens to a star when it spins up, how astronomers identify what a star is made of, how telescopes work, and how the solar system is scaled. Additionally, people were able to see, through the Department’s telescopes, into the dark night sky, planets and their companions such as Jupiter and its moons, Saturn and its rings, and Mars. Tom Carrico, a renowned astrophotographer, showed attendees deep sky objects such as the great American Nebula using long exposures with his tracking telescope camera. Along with the wonder and awe that one gets from seeing these beautiful celestial objects, attendees also got a free NASA Tourism Poster for them to remember the event.
There were beautiful 3D posters of the surface of Mars that encompassed a near real experience of being on the surface of mars, and the other “2D” posters decorated the walls of Weniger Hall in a mosaic of celestial beauty.
With the success of this first event of its kind at OSU, harboring at least 120 attendees, Tyler and Atul will be having another event, so stay tuned to when the next Astronomy Open House is!