MURFREESBORO — “Fall Sky: Messier Top 10” will be MTSU Physics and Astronomy associate professor Chuck Higgins’ topic for the first First Friday Star Party of the year at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 2 in Science Building Room 1006.
The star party is free and open to the public and campus community. Children are welcome. Free parking is available after 6 p.m. Friday near the Science Building. For parking, a printable campus map can be found at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap.
First Friday Star Parties are a way for the department to bring the MTSU, Murfreesboro and surrounding communities together. There will be a lecture followed by telescope viewing, weather permitting.
Other First Friday Star Parties this fall will include:
• Oct. 7 — “Gravity Waves,” led by lecturer Rob Mahurin.
• Nov. 4 — “Funky Fizix in Film,” led by professor Eric Klumpe.
• Dec. 2 — Topic to be determined and led by instructor Irina Perevalova (a public choice vote Sept. 2 and Oct. 7 will decide the topic)
Higgins’ theme focuses on Charles Messier, an 18th century French astronomer interested in comets.
“He created a list of nebulous objects in 1774 that were not comets, now called the Messier Catalog,” Higgins said. “There are 110 objects in the updated catalog and they are favorite targets for observers. I will highlight the top 10 Messier objects for the fall skies.”
For more information about the series or the astronomy program, call 615-898-2130 or visit http://www.mtsu.edu/programs/astronomy/.