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Upcoming event at Glendale Community College North observatory offers an opportunity for public to view astronomical wonders through new telescopes.

Astronomy fans are invited to join Glendale Community College North on February 15, from 7 to 9 p.m., for the grand opening of its new telescope pad and eight new telescopes, available that evening for public viewing of the moon, the planet Jupiter, Orion Nebula, The Pleiades, and possibly a peek at an asteroid.

“This time of year can offer wonderful opportunities for viewing,” said GCC professor Keith Watt. The date of the event was chosen in anticipation of the close pass of a small asteroid, expected to pass closely by the earth around that time. “In this case, ‘small’ means about 45 meters across, and ‘close’ means approximately 21,000 miles from Earth,” clarified Watt, with a wink.

Student ambassadors and astronomy professors will be available to answer questions. Information on careers in space and astronomy will also be available at the event.

The event will be held outside at the new telescope pad, west of the D building on the GCC North campus, 5727 W. Happy Valley Road. Refreshments will be served. Visitors are asked to dress warmly and to wear flat, comfortable shoes, as the viewing area will be dark and the weather possibly cold.

This event is one of the official SciTech Festival events, and is on the City of Glendale SciTech passport.  Also in conjunction with the SciTech Festival, GCC will host  science demonstrations and an astronaut visit at main campus, 4-7 p.m., February 22.

Starting in Fall 2013, the observatory plans to host monthly stargazing events for the community throughout the school year, as part of its continued community outreach and commitment to highlighting astronomy as an important part of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) education.

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