University of North Dakota Faculty/Staff Newsletter

Space Studies relaunches popular Star Party series

The Department of Space Studies is set to re-launch its popular Star Party series, which will alternate between the UND Observatory and Clifford Hall.

“This coincides with the first year of full operations at the UND Observatory,” said Paul Hardersen, associate professor of space studies and director of the observatory. “The UND Department of Space Studies and the Northern Skies Astronomical Society are teaming up to conduct public star parties for the UND and Grand Forks communities.”

Under renovation and expansion since 2005, the UND Observatory will begin operations this year as a diverse suite of fully operational, Internet-controllable telescopes that are used by UND students and faculty from across North Dakota, the United States, and the world. The observatory, which includes three optical telescopes and one radio telescope, conducts a broad range of research projects that include asteroid studies, observations of the Sun, and investigations of stars.

The public star parties will be split between the UND campus and at the UND Observatory.

Mark your calendars now for the following Star Party dates:

*Star Parties on June 10, July 8, Aug. 12 and Sept. 9 will be held in Clifford Hall and will feature presentations, followed by observations of the Moon.

*Star Parties on May 27, June 24, July 22, Aug. 26, and Sept. 23 will be at the UND Observatory and will feature observations of a wide variety of deep space objects, such as star clusters, nebulae, and planets. Visitors will also be able to watch the UND Observatory's remote telescopes in operation, as well as view through other telescopes present at the star parties.

For more information, contacts Paul Hardersen, associate professor, Space Studies, at 777-4896 or

-- Juan Miguel Pedraza, writer/editor, University Relations, 777-6571,

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