Physics Scholars Presenting ‘Astronomy at the Crossroads’ on Eve of Solar Eclipse

“Astronomy at the Crossroads” will be the topic of a presentation by two physics scholars on the eve, Aug. 20, of the Great American Solar Eclipse at Southeast Missouri State University.

Dr. Phillip Reed, associate professor of physics and astronomy and director of the Planetarium and Observatory at Kutztown University, and Dr. Margaret “Peggy” Hill, professor of physics at Southeast Missouri State University, will deliver a joint presentation to help the community better understand the science and wonder behind this natural phenomenon and explain why there is more to the skies than just star gazing.

This free community event is scheduled for 2 p.m. Aug. 20 in Glenn Auditorium of Robert A. Dempster Hall.

Reed and Hill also will discuss their research and the opportunities available for undergraduate students to learn more about astronomy.

In addition, Reed, a guest astronomer, will bring two telescopes with him for public viewing of the eclipse from Houck Field on Aug. 21. One will have a hydrogen alpha filter for viewing the surface texture of the sun. The other will be a white light telescope with a filter.

Several telescopes will be available for students and visitors to view the eclipse that day, including those provided by Dennis Vollink, president of Drury Southwest Inc. and a local astrophotographer whose passion for the depths of the universe led to the creation of his own observatory atop his home in Cape Girardeau.

Reed, Hill and Vollink will help guide those interested in getting an up-close look at this rare event through the lenses of powerful telescopes set up on the field Aug. 21.

Dr. Phillip Reed, associate professor of physics and astronomy and director of the Planetarium and Observatory at Kutztown University.

Reed’s expertise lends itself well to the Great American Solar Eclipse to be viewed from Southeast. His research interests focus on astrophysics, stellar evolution and magnetic fields, interacting binary stars and…

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