To help celebrate May the Fourth, The Oakley Observatory at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology will be hosting an open house for students and the community of Terre Haute.
To transport students and families to the “Star Wars” world, “the Oakley Observatory will be open and all eight of our beautiful telescopes up and running. We will spend the night observing galaxies, star systems, planets and more,” said Marisa Dimperio, Vice President of Rose-Hulman's Astronomical Society.
This unique event is from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. and is completely free. Open houses are nothing new for the Oakley Observatory, but this is the first time they are celebrating May the Fourth.
“Open Houses are hosted by the RHIT Astronomical Society three times a year. This is the first time we are hosting a “Star Wars” themed open house purely because the event landed on the perfect day, May the Fourth,” said Dimperio.
No matter the weather this Saturday, the event will still go on.
“The Oakley Observatory is hosting an Open House, rain or shine! If it is a clear night, we will be hosting tours of our facilities and actively observing celestial objects. If viewing conditions are not favorable, we will be talking about current research on campus and featuring pictures taken by students at Rose,” said Riley Dunnagan, President of the Rose Hulman Astronomical Society.
Even if you are not a “Star Wars” fanatic or interested in astronomy, it is still an amazing and unique opportunity.
“Astronomy may sound like a very complicated physics based science that everyday people can't comprehend, but it isn't,” said Dimperio, “All students of any major from STEM to arts will enjoy seeing the clarity of the moon’s craters through our telescopes.”
“Though I'm probably biased as someone working in the field of astronomy, I do think most of us can really appreciate the beauty of our sky. It isn't often, though, that you can clearly observe and interface with some of the deep space objects, and even though I've looked at objects like Jupiter and the Moon dozens of times now, there is still something quite stirring about seeing them with my own eyes. There aren't many opportunities for students without an observatory to experience this, so I encourage anyone who can make it to go!” said Dunnagan.
This event is an amazing opportunity for more than just students.
“The society’s favorite part of these events is seeing families come out to show their kids our universe. This is a wonderful hands on opportunity for kids to develop an interest in STEM. Hands on experience with telescopes like those at the Oakley Observatory are rare for those without a degree in Astronomy, so adults are also usually taken aback by the wonderful objects we get to observe through them,” said Dimperio.
“My favorite part of the event is seeing people who otherwise wouldn't get the opportunity to hear much about astronomy or observe through research-grade equipment get that chance. It is intensely rewarding seeing someone's eyes light up out of excitement because they are experiencing something new in a field that I love,” said Dunnagan.
There is also a special sale happening at the ISU bookstore this weekend to help celebrate May the Fourth. On Saturday, Barnes & Noble will be have a raffle to win free comic books, as well as 20% off all their graphic novels.
May the Fourth be with you.