“Awesome!”—As overused as that word is, it seemed wholly appropriate as senior Christy Kirk got her first up-close look at Alberio, a binary star system of one bluish and one red-tinted star that orbit a common center of gravity.Read the full article
The distances bridged by UNC Asheville’s new telescopes are indeed vast—380 light years in the case of Alberio—but the views produced are large, sharp and clear, summoning the awe and wonder that have characterized astronomy since ancient times.
Ten new 8-inch Newtonian reflecting telescopes have made their debut on the Quad this semester as part of Astronomy 105 labs, bringing students a chance to see stars the old-fashioned way, rather than just on computer monitors. “We’re now able to tie the information about the properties of those stars to personal experience,” said Glaxo-Wellcome Professor of Physics Brian Dennison, who redesigned the astronomy curriculum to make use of the telescopes. “Students are excited by it. Sometimes, they bring their friends to share what they’re seeing.”
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