Tarleton invites public to university’s observatory for free spring Star Party

Friday, March 24, 2017

STEPHENVILLE, Texas—Interested in astronomy and the stars that shine bright in the Texas night sky? Tarleton State University’s Program for Astronomy Education and Research invites area residents to gaze at celestial wonders at the annual Spring Star Party, Friday, March 31.

Visitors to the university’s Hunewell Ranch observatory can gaze at the stars and deep space objects, as well as several planets, through several small telescopes, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Astronomers will demonstrate the imaging process for research using Tarleton’s 32-inch reflecting telescope. There’s no charge.

Larry Barr, manager of the Tarleton planetarium and observatory, said early spring typically offers clear skies—perfect for stargazing.

“Spring, with its clear skies and cool weather, provide for beautiful observations,” said Barr. “The Orion Nebula will be good to look at, as well as Jupiter.”

Several amateur astronomers will bring their telescopes to share with the public, and visitors are encouraged to bring their own telescopes.

Tours of the Tarleton observatory will take place throughout the evening, allowing visitors to see how astronomers conduct research and how the 32-inch Ritchey-Chretien reflecting telescope operates. The telescope features a computer controlled, high-resolution CCD imaging system to ensure accurate image capture for research.

Stargazers are invited to arrive any time after 6:30 p.m. and remain until 11 p.m. Visitors are asked to turn off vehicle headlights as they approach the observatory.

For a map to Hunewell Ranch and more information regarding Tarleton’s observatory, visit http://www.tarleton.edu/observatory.

Tarleton, a member of The Texas A&M University System, provides a student-focused, value-driven educational experience marked by academic innovation and exemplary service, and dedicated to transforming students into tomorrow’s professional leaders. With campuses in Stephenville, Fort Worth, Waco, Midlothian and online, Tarleton engages with its communities to provide real-world learning experiences and to address societal needs while maintaining its core values of integrity, leadership, tradition, civility, excellence and service.


Contact: Larry Barr
[email protected]

A founding member of The Texas A&M University System, Tarleton is breaking records — in enrollment, research, scholarship, athletics, philanthropy and engagement — while transforming the lives of more than 15,000 students in Stephenville, Fort Worth, Waco, Midlothian, A&M RELLIS at Bryan and online. True to Tarleton’s values of excellence, integrity, and respect, academic programs emphasize real world learning and address regional, state and national needs.