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Drake program to examine role of exploration in solving mysteries of space

April 30, 2010
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New exploration and observation techniques and the effect
they have on mysteries of space will be the subject of a public presentation at
the Drake Municipal Observatory on Friday, April 30.

The event, titled "There be Dragons," is free and
open to the public. It will start at 8 p.m. at the observatory in Waveland Park
on the west side of Des Moines, 4898 Observatory Road, off of Polk Boulevard.
Parking is available adjacent to the observatory.

The presentation will focus on
technology and its role in improving the ability of astronomers to solve many
mysteries of space. Along with new discoveries, new mysteries have developed.
These will be addressed in the April 30 program and in the May 7 program, which
will conclude the spring series.

"As technology and new
exploration improves, simple questions are being answered. Now more complex
questions are being posed, and these questions remain to be solved," said
Herbert Schwartz of Drake's Department of Physics and Astronomy.

Each week there is a
non-technical, illustrated presentation by Charles Nelson and Schwartz. Every
presentation is followed by the opportunity to view several stellar objects
through the large refracting telescope and several smaller reflecting
telescopes.

The programs are held regardless
of the weather, although the selection for observation is subject to change due
to sky conditions or other special circumstances. Individuals, families, and
small groups are welcomed to attend. A parent or responsible adult must
accompany children.

The series will end on Friday, May 7, with a presentation
titled "The Mystery Remains."

For more information, contact
Drake's Department of Physics and Astronomy at 515-271-3141.