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Austin Peay invites public to see lunar occultation of Mars

The public event is scheduled for Dec. 7.

(Posted on Friday, Dec. 2, 2022)

Austin Peay State University’s Department of Physics, Engineering and Astronomy will give children and adult astronomy enthusiasts a chance to observe a lunar occultation of Mars – when the moon passes in front of Mars – at the university’s observatory on Wednesday, Dec. 7.

The public observing night will begin around 8:30 p.m. at the observatory, housed at APSU’s Environmental Education Center and Farm, 1991 Pickens Road.

The night will feature the university’s 20-inch Ritchey-Chretien telescope, which has the same optical design as NASA’s Hubble Telescope, and professors and students eager to help visitors make the most of the night.

Attendees must RSVP by filling out the form at the bottom of the Department of Physics, Engineering and Astronomy webpage. The event will be limited to the first 30 guests.

As of Friday, the forecast called for cloudy skies. If that forecast holds, Dr. Spencer Buckner will deliver a short lecture on the event and display a livestream from another location that has clear skies. The event will last about 90 minutes.

Attendees should dress appropriately for the weather and nighttime temperatures. As on all APSU campuses, smoking and alcohol are prohibited.

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