ERIE, Pa. — The days of an eight-planet galaxy are gone.
Over the past two decades, NASA’s Kepler space telescope has discovered thousands of exoplanets outside our solar system. Signs also point to a mysterious ninth planet existing on the edges of the Milky Way.
Now, more than ever, planets are generating an exciting buzz within the astronomy community, and that buzz will be the topic of discussion when Open House Night in Astronomy returns to Penn State Behrend on Thursday, Feb. 25.
“Planets are simply dust in a vast universe. Despite their small size, they’ve recently become the talk of the town,” said Open House presenter Darren Williams, professor of physics and astronomy. “Our nearest planetary neighbors are now congregating in the morning sky like bees around the hive. Also, news of a possible new “ninth” planet at the edge of the solar system is drawing viral attention, and exoplanets are being discovered by the thousands.”
The presentation, “Mysterious Planets,” will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Roche Hall Atrium of Penn State Behrend’s School of Science Complex. It is free and open to the public.
The lecture will be followed by a 15-minute Q&A session hosted by Williams. Astronomical observing will also be held if weather permits.
Star talks will be held in the Yahn Planetarium before Williams’ talk at both 6:30 and 7 p.m.
Open House Nights in Astronomy are an outreach program of the School of Science at Penn State Behrend. These nontechnical presentations are intended for ages 8 and up; for additional information, contact the school at 814-898-6105.