FLORENCE, S.C. – The Francis Marion University observatory will hold a public viewing session, Saturday, March 18, from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m.
The viewing session is open to the public free of charge.
Among the objects visible will be the planets Mars and Saturn, along with a few deep sky objects, such as the Orion Nebula and the Andromeda Galaxy.
The loosely structured viewing program allows visitors to come and go as they please. If weather conditions block viewing, the session will be canceled. The public may call 843-661-1355 for recorded information about the prospect of a clear sky to allow the event to be held.
Visitors to the observatory are urged to dress appropriately for the weather as temperatures will be much cooler in the evening hours. Flashlights may be used for walking to the observatory, but visitors will not be allowed to drive out to the observatory unless prior arrangements have been made with the observatory director, Jeannette Myers.
The FMU observatory is located beyond the outfield fence of the FMU Softball Field, south of the Smith University Center. Visitors can park in Lot D at the southern end of the campus and follow the walkway to the observatory.
Persons requiring special assistance to visit the observatory, or seeking more information, may call 843-661-1441. The observatory webpage is http://astro.fmarion.edu/observe/