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The Journal Gazette

Wednesday, March 16, 2016 1:20 am

Mini-observatory to be built at IPFW

The Journal Gazette

Construction is underway for a new mini-observatory on IPFW's campus, officials said today.

The observatory will be led by former NASA scientist Steve Gillam, now assistant professor of physics, the university said in a statement.

The telescope will be open for use by IPFW undergraduates and interested community members and schoolchildren who want to study planets, nearby stars and distant galaxies. 

The integrated software and digital camera will allow users to look at a certain part of the night sky and record digital images and videos.

The base for the telescope was designed and built by IPFW physics undergrad Mike Perkins in his grandfather's machine shop, the statement said. 

The observatory is "a big part of the astronomy option for physics majors and will provide the tools undergrads need for astronomical research," Gillam said in the statement.

The observatory will be operational by the fall 2015 semester. Funding came from the Department of Physics, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Office of Research, Engagement and Sponsored Programs.

For more information on the project, go to the IPFW Society of Physics Students Facebook page or contact Gillam at 260-481-6150 or gillamsd@ipfw.edu.