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25 March 2009


Members of the public will be celebrating National Moonwatch Week (30 March – 2 April 2009) with a visit to the Cardiff University Observatory

Free Open Evenings are being held at the School of Physics and Astronomy to give people the chance to use a large optical telescope to see the craters, mountains and ‘seas’ which make up the surface of the moon.

Weather permitting, Open Evenings will be held on one or more dates between Monday 30 March and Thursday 2 April 2009 from 5pm to 8pm. The Observatory, located on top of the Queens Buildings, will open on the first night that is clear enough to observe the moon.

The event has proven to be very popular, with more than 300 people registering to attend. Registration for tickets has now closed but there is a waiting list in case of cancellations. Further details are available on the School’s Moonwatch website. The website will also confirm when events are to take place and even features a webcam which updates every 10 minutes as a guide to the weather in Cardiff.

Professor Derek Ward-Thompson, School of Physics and Astronomy, said: "This is a unique opportunity for members of the public to access a state of the art telescope, one of the most powerful in Wales."

National Moonwatch Week is part of the International Year of Astronomy 2009 celebrations, a world-wide event marking the 400th anniversary of Gaileo using a telescope to observe the night sky. The event is sponsored by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

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