Behlen Observatory's final public night is April 27

Behlen Observatory will be open to the public for the final time in the spring semester from 7:30 to 10 p.m. April 27. Provided the sky is clear, visitors will be able to view a variety of objects with the observatory's 30-inch telescope and with smaller telescopes set up outside.

These include the moon, the planets Venus, Mars and Saturn, star clusters, and double or multiple stars. At 8 p.m., a member of the observatory staff will give an illustrated talk about the night sky.

Saturn is returning to the evening sky and will be visible in the telescopes throughout the public night. The second largest planet in the solar system, it is accompanied by at least 50 moons of which several are visible in the telescope. Through a small telescope, the broad, bright ring system is easily visible, while the 30-inch telescope reveals that the ring is actually divided in two by a dark band. Those who saw the planet at the public night last April may notice that the details of the rings are more visible now because they are tilted more toward Earth. If observing conditions are good, it will be possible to see bands and other cloud patterns in the planet's atmosphere.

There is no admission charge for the public night. Further information, including maps and directions, can be found on the observatory website,