Austin College Opens Adams Observatory for Star Party

Sherman, Texas | September 6, 2018

Austin College’s Adams Observatory opens its doors to the community for a Star Party on Friday, September 14, 2018, inviting visitors to explore the universe through the largest research telescope in North Texas. The come-and-go, free event begins at 9:30 p.m. and continues until 11 p.m. at the College’s IDEA Center.Advance registration is requested at Should weather conditions require a cancellation, an announcement will be posted that day on the Austin College website, and registrants will be notified by email.

Adams Observatory TelescopeThe evening will feature the planets Mars and Saturn, along with other delights of the night sky. “This is a special time to view Mars and Saturn,” says Dr. David Baker, Physics Department chair and director of Adams Observatory. “Earlier this summer, these planets passed relatively close to Earth—Mars was closer to Earth than it will be for another 17 years. Both planets still shine brightly in the night sky, and the views are magical through the Adams Observatory telescope.”

 The IDEA Center is located at 1108 E. Richards Street, and parking is available nearby. Visitors should meet outside the main entrance of the IDEA Center, and guests will be taken to Adams Observatory in small groups on a first-come, first-served basis. Additional smaller telescopes will be available on the roof and lawn for stargazing. Students and faculty will be on hand to assist and provide details about the night’s featured objects.

 “At this event, we get to share our enthusiasm, and our telescopes, with the community. Come join us to experience the vastness of space,” said Dr. David Whelan, assistant professor of physics. “There is no better way to appreciate our place in the universe than sharing it with other space enthusiasts.”

 Austin College, a private national liberal arts college located north of Dallas in Sherman, Texas, has earned a reputation for excellence in academic preparation, international study, pre-professional foundations, leadership development, committed faculty, and hands-on, adventurous learning opportunities. One of 40 schools profiled in Loren Pope’s influential book Colleges That Change LivesAustin College boasts a welcoming community that embraces diversity and individuality, with more than 40 percent of students representing ethnic minorities. A residential student body of approximately 1,275 students and a faculty of more than 100 allow a 13:1 student-faculty ratio and personalized attention. The College is related by covenant to the Presbyterian Church (USA) and cultivates an inclusive atmosphere that supports students’ faith journeys regardless of religious tradition. Founded in 1849, the College is the oldest institution of higher education in Texas operating under original name and charter.