NASA IMAGE UNVEILING

NOVEMBER 10, 2009

The DuPont Planetarium & the Ruth Patrick Science Education Center at USC Aiken celebrate the International Year of Astronomy with giant NASA images.
Visitors to the DuPont Planetarium and the Ruth Patrick Science Education Center at USC Aiken will journey to the center of our Galaxy when they encounter two, mural-sized images of the Milky Way’s core as seen by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, Spitzer Space Telescope, and Chandra X-ray Observatory.
Aiken Mayor Fred Cavanaugh and USCA Chancellor Tom Hallman will unveil these stunning photographs of the central region of our Galaxy at 4:30 p.m. on November 10, 2009.

This event is part of a nationwide NASA image unveiling to commemorate the International Year of Astronomy. The unveiling at USC Aiken will take place in the gallery of the DuPont Planetarium. For more information about this local event, call 803-641-3769.

The International Year of Astronomy 2009 celebrates the 400th anniversary of Galileo turning a telescope to the heavens. Since Galileo's spyglass, telescopes have grown ever larger and better, and have moved to mountaintops and into space. NASA's Great Observatories are crowning achievements of observational astronomy, so they are being used to honor Galileo’s legacy with a spectacular, national image unveiling.

A giant 6-foot-by-3-foot image presents a unique view that showcases the Galaxy in near-infrared light observed by Hubble, infrared light observed by Spitzer, and X-ray light observed by Chandra. This combined image was carefully assembled from mosaic photo surveys of the core by each telescope. It provides the most wide-ranging view ever of our Galaxy’s mysterious hub.

The DuPont Planetarium and the Ruth Patrick Science Education Center will also unveil a matched trio of Hubble, Spitzer, and Chandra images of the Milky Way’s center on a second panel measuring 3 feet by 4 feet. Each image shows a different wavelength view of the central region of our Galaxy. These multi-wavelength views provide both stunning beauty and a wealth of scientific information that Galileo could not have imagined!

For additional information, see the websites noted below.
Hubble Space Telescope -- http://hubblesite.org/
Spitzer Space Telescope -- http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/
Chandra X-ray Observatory -- http://chandra.harvard.edu/
NASA’s IYA celebration -- http://astronomy2009.nasa.gov/