New location for Star Party

Derek Pufahl, Staff Writer

Forget about yesterday’s rainy doldrums with a Wayne State College Star Party at Ike’s Lake.

Professor Todd Young and his astronomy honors class will be hosting the party for the class’s service-learning project tonight (Wednesday) at 5:30 p.m.

In the past, WSC’s Star Party has been held on campus, but this semester it’s been relocated to Ike’s Lake, just north of Wayne.

“Frankly,” Young said, “campus is just getting too bright.”

He hopes that this new location will work better for viewing, but yet not deter students from coming since it isn’t on campus.

The evening will include kinesthetic astronomy, a solar system walk, and a viewing of “Cosmic Voyage.” Then, when the sun goes down, the real fun begins.

Telescopes come out. Tours of the constellations will be given by students, and the big ticket items like Venus, Mars, Jupiter, a crescent moon, the Andromeda galaxy, the Hercules cluster, the Dumbbell nebula and even the location of the center of our galaxy will be able to be spotted.

“Anybody can come by, anytime,” Young said. “Just come on over, grab a hotdog and look at the stars.”

Visitors are encouraged to bring their own telescopes or binoculars, as well as coats, blankets and outdoor chairs. Refreshments will be provided, but students should feel free to bring their own.

The event is put together entirely by the honors class students: Liz Eckmann, Melissa Christiansen, Lucas Freeman, Liam Hockley, Amanda Kahny, Amanda Krehbiel, Brady Kruckman, Robyn Levine, Kailey Rader, Luke Rethwisch, Morgan Stough and Jordan Zoucha.

Young said that these students are the ones in charge of the event.

“All I do is operate the big telescope,” he said.

So when’s the best time to look up at the cosmos?

Ask the astronomy professor.

“I like to do it during a waxing crescent moon,” Young said. “Viewing availability is better in the early evening. You can see the moon, but it’s not blinding. Some people think it would be better during a full moon, but then the moon is so bright that it blocks out other stars.”

If the weather turns out for the worse, the party will be rescheduled for April 22 at Ike’s Lake.

Directions: take Hwy 15 north, turn left on 860th Rd, turn right on 574th Ave, and in 0.3 miles turn right into Ike’s Lake—look for the white fish.