Celebrate International Year of Astronomy

In 1609 Galileo first turned a telescope toward the sky…and modern astronomy was born.

To commemorate 400 years of celestial exploration, 2009 has been designated the International Year of Astronomy (IYA).

MiraCosta College has been selected to host an unveiling of two new spectacular mural-sized images of the well-known spiral galaxy Messier 101 (M101) from all three of NASA’s Great Observatories: the Hubble Space Telescope, Spitzer Space Telescope and Chandra X-ray Observatory.

The community is invited to the image unveiling and a public talk by Dr. Michelle Thaller of the California Institute of Technology on Friday, February 27, at 7:30 p.m. in the gym at MiraCosta, 1 Barnard Drive, Oceanside.

Admission is free and a stargazing party will follow (weather permitting) during which attendees can use MiraCosta’s telescopes to enjoy the night sky.

A limited number of 8”x10” lithographs of M101 will be distributed free of charge to attendees on a first-come, first-served basis. The images will be on display at MiraCosta throughout 2009.

More about the IYA, the US National Node of IYA and NASA’s contributions to IYA can be found at www.astronomy2009.org.

For additional information about the event, contact MiraCosta astronomy professor Rica Sirbaugh French at (760) 757-2121, ext. 6506.

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