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Observatory to open skies to the public

Keen astronomers will be given the opportunity to view the sky’s delights for free when the University of St Andrews opens its Observatory to the public for the evening.

The University will continue its tradition of opening the Observatory – and the skies – to the public on St Andrew’s Day, Sunday 30th November.

Members of the public will be welcomed free of charge for an Open Evening from 5pm to 9pm.

Director of the Observatory, Dr Ron Hilditch said:

“If the sky is clear, visitors will be able to look through telescopes at the half Moon displaying its craters and mountains, the planet Mars with its icy polar caps, the planet Saturn with its ring system tilted towards us at the best viewing angle for many years, as well as gas clouds around young star- forming regions, star clusters of all ages, and distant galaxies.

If the sky is too cloudy for direct observations, there will be plenty of other sights for visitors to feast their eyes upon.

Dr Hilditch said: “There will also be displays of images of astronomical sources, computer- generated movies on star formation and interesting regions of our galaxy and other galaxies, and posters highlighting the current research work of the Astrophysics Group in the School of Physics and Astronomy.”

Amongst the attractions on display will be The James Gregory Telescope – the largest telescope of its kind in the UK.

The Observatory will be open to the public on St Andrews Day, Sunday 30th November, from 5pm to 9pm. Admission is free and everyone is welcome, especially families with children of all ages. The Observatory is located just off Buchanan Gardens, St Andrews, at the University’s sports fields.

ENDS

NOTE TO PICTURE EDITORS:

A JPEG OF THE JAMES GREGORY TELESCOPE IS AVAILABLE FROM THE PRESS OFFICE ¿ CONTACT DETAILS BELOW

Issued by Beattie Media On behalf of the University of St Andrews Contact Gayle Cook on 01334 467227, mobile 07900 050 103, or email gec3@st-andrews.ac.uk Ref: Observatory open evening pr 191103 View the latest University news at http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk

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