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Observatory series to explore new tricks with old physics

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CONTACT: Tory Olson, 515-271-1834, tory.olson@drake.edu 

The Drake Municipal Observatory will continue its exploration of the telescope by examining its more advanced techniques on Friday, Sept. 25.

In “The Telescope Part II,” presenters will look at specialized technology in the telescope, including spectral analysis, compound mirrors, adoptive optics and how newer technologies have developed from old principals of physics.

The event will start at 8 p.m. in the observatory at 4898 Observatory Road in Waveland Park on the west side of Des Moines. Parking is available adjacent to the observatory.

The series, which is free and open to the public, will continue each Friday at 8 p.m. through Oct. 30, with a non-technical, illustrated presentation by Charles Nelson or Herbert Schwartz of Drake University’s Department of Physics and Astronomy. 

Each presentation will be 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 welcome to attend the presentations. A parent or responsible adult must accompany children.

The schedule for the remainder of the fall series is listed below: 
  • Oct. 2: “Beyond the Eye”
  • Oct. 9: “Holding the Image”
  • Oct. 16: “Being There: Part I”
  • Oct. 23: “Being There: Part II”
  • Oct. 30: “The Christmas Telescope”
For more information, contact Drake’s Department of Physics and Astronomy at 515-271-3141.