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Richard Durisen
Department of Astronomy

Caty Pilachowski
Department of Astronomy

Last modified: Friday, October 18, 2002

IU Astronomy Department to celebrate "Astrofest"

Renovated Kirkwood Observatory to be reopened

Indiana University's Department of Astronomy has much to celebrate -- a long, rich history, a renewed and vigorous present, and the promise of an exciting future.

To celebrate two major events, the reopening of the department's renovated Kirkwood Observatory and the 90th birthday of IU Astronomy Professor Emeritus Frank Edmondson, the Astronomy Department will host Astrofest, a variety of events for friends, alumni, the university community and the public on Oct. 25-26. All events will be free and open to the public.

Leading off Astrofest on Oct. 25 will be an open house at Kirkwood Observatory, located in the woods just east of the intersection of Indiana Avenue and Fourth Street. Between 1:30 and 4 p.m., the public is invited to see the observatory's telescope and tour a historical display. Refreshments will be available in the KIrkwood Observatory lobby.

At 4 p.m., there will be a formal rededication ceremony for Kirkwood Observatory in the building's lobby -- the 100th anniversary of the observatory's original dedication.

In the evening, if weather permits, there will a "star party" for the public at Kirkwood Observatory in cooperation with the Indianapolis Astronomical Society and the Stonebelt Stargazers from Bedford. From 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., visitors of all ages can look through a variety of telescopes at planets, nebulae, star clusters and other celestial wonders. Astronomers will be available to help with the instruments and explain what they reveal.

On Oct. 26, a series of presentations on the WIYN telescope will be offered in Swain Hall West, Room 119, from 1:30 to 5 p.m. Astronomers will describe in terms understandable to the public the recent scientific and educational achievements at this large, modern telescope on Kitt Peak in Arizona. IU is a partner in the WIYN telescope, along with the University of Wisconsin, Yale University and the National Optical Astronomy Observatory.

Details about Astrofest are available at the event's Web site at

For more information on Astrofest, contact Professor Catherine Pilachowski at 812-855-6913 or or Professor Richard Durisen at 812-855-6921 or For information about parking and other arrangements, call the Astronomy Department office at 812-855-6911.