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EAC and Desert Sky Gazers present “Messier Objects and Your Binoculars”

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EAC and Desert Sky Gazers present “Messier Objects and Your Binoculars”

By Jeanné Clark

THATCHER, AZ—The Desert Sky Gazers amateur astronomy club, in partnership with Eastern Arizona College’s Discovery Park Campus, will present a free, family-friendly lecture and slideshow entitled “Messier Objects and Your Binoculars,” on February 21, 2009, at 6:30 p.m. in the Jupiter Room of Discovery Park Campus. Bob Hiatt, vice president of the Desert Sky Gazers, will give the public an informative and enjoyable lecture on the Messier Objects, a set of astronomical objects first listed by French astronomer Charles Messier that were later named after him.

Harry Swanson, dean of Discovery Park Campus, says, “Bring the children and learn about this famous comet hunter who worked for Napoleon in the early 1800s to determine if the heavens showed supportive signs for war making.”

When Messier organized his catalogue of these objects in the 18th century, he did not scientifically organize them by object type or by location. Despite this disorganization, however, his catalogue gives examples of every known deep sky object, including galaxies, planetary nebulae, open clusters, and globular clusters. “Because these objects are among the most spectacular deep sky objects, they are commonly observed and studied,” says Swanson. “All of the Messier objects are visible with binoculars or small telescopes, and in early spring, astronomers sometimes gather for ‘Messier marathons,’ when they try to view all of the objects in a single night.”

For more information about this event or Discovery Park Campus, contact Swanson at 428-6260.