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MEDIA ADVISORY: See the Stars from Mid-Missouri

April 13th, 2011

Story Contact: MU News Bureau, 573-882-6211,

WHAT: The University of Missouri will celebrate the first manned space flight by opening the doors of Laws Observatory to the public. The public will be able to view the night sky as astronomers and researchers do, but they will have the benefit of viewing the sky with little light pollution.

“We are excited to show the public the observatory and the night sky,” said Angela Speck, director of astronomy in the MU College of Arts and Science. “We are thankful for the cooperation of the Mizzou Student Recreation Complex, Mizzou Athletics and the academic departments responsible for campus greenhouses. These departments have agreed to switch off nearly all the lights that contribute to light pollution, which will provide us with a particularly exceptional view of the night sky.”

Before going to the observatory, Val Germann, member of the Central Missouri Astronomical Association, will give a lecture titled, “Gagarin and Shephard: First into Space.” Germann expects visitors to be able to see Saturn.

WHO: MU astronomers and the general public

WHERE: Lecture in 120 Physics Building and viewing in Laws Observatory in the Physics Building, MU campus

WHEN: Lecture at 7 p.m. and viewing from 8 p.m.-10 p.m., April 13

NOTE: This event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.