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Look At The Stars: Research And Parties At UIS

Marc VanNorden/flickr

The popular star parties resume this Friday night on the University of Illinois Springfield campus, weather permitting.  They are hosted by Dr. John Martin, Associate Professor of Astronomy/Physics. 

Visitors are asked to arrive between 8-10 p.m. at the UIS Observatory on the roof of the Brookens Library. 

The parties are free and open to the public.  No reservations are needed.  The events will continue each Friday through Oct. 24.  Among the celestial objects visitors can witness are the moon, when visible, the Ring Nebula, star clusters and more.

Credit UIS.EDU
Dr. John Martin

Martin has also been busy studying a a huge star known as Eta Carinae.  For the work, he a group of researchers have been using the Hubble Space Telescope.  The star is rapidly changing after erupting more than 160 years ago.

"The activity of this star is completely unanticipated. We have no model or understanding of why it had its great eruption.  Why it's recovering from it. What's going on inside a star this big?", he said. 

The star, one of the most massive in our galaxy, will eventually become a supernova.  He said this research will help in determining what leads up to those events. 

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