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First Friday Astronomy Lecture and Stargazing in Newly Reopened Observatory

February’s First Friday Astronomy Lecture and Stargazing event, which will take place from 7:30-9:30 p.m. on Feb. 2, will offer a couple attractions.

Image of an evolving galaxy.

First, guest lecturer Christy Tremonit, assistant professor of astronomy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will present a talk, “Cosmic Chemistry: New Insights from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey IV.” Tremonti will discuss her research on the chemical evolution of galaxies as they gather gas, turn gas into stars, then explode as supernovae. Then, weather permitting, stargazing will follow on the roof of the Education Building in the newly-refurbished Boise State Observatory.

“Orion’s nebula should be visible by then and will be particularly relevant to the February talk since it’s a star-forming region,” said Brian Jackson, an assistant professor in the Department of Physics.

Brian Jackson at the Observatory.

In 2015, Jackson,  led a successful fundraising campaign through the university’s crowdfunding platform PonyUp, that raised $10,000 to restore the observatory. Projects included buying a new telescope mount, software to control the mount, webcams and more.

The lecture is at 7:30 p.m. in Room 101 in the Multi-Purpose Classroom Building. Stargazing is at 8:30 p.m. in the observatory. Both events are free and open to the public. Questions? Contact Jackson at