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MEDIA ADVISORY: Bright, Turbulent and Scrutinized: Orion Nebula Is Visible to the Naked Eye

MU researcher will discuss the star-forming region

December 2nd, 2009

Story Contact: Kelsey Jackson, (573) 882-8353,

WHAT: The public is invited to the December installment of the Cosmic Conversation lecture series. Melanie Koehler, postdoctoral associate in the University of Missouri Department of Physics and Astronomy, will discuss the Orion Nebula.

Positioned south of Orion’s Belt, the Orion Nebula is a star-forming region and is one of the most photographed objects in outer space. Although scientists estimate the location to be more than 1,000 light years away, the Orion Nebula is visible without a telescope.

The Cosmic Conversations lecture series is hosted by the University of Missouri Department of Physics and Astronomy, the Laws Observatory and the Central Missouri Astronomical Association.

Cosmic Conversations is part of the International Year of Astronomy (IYA 2009) celebration. Designated by the United Nations, IYA 2009 celebrates the 400th anniversary of the first recorded astronomical observations with a telescope of Galileo Galilei and the publication of Astronomia nova by Johannes Kepler.

WHO: Melanie Koehler, a postdoctoral associate in the MU Department of Physics and Astronomy.

WHERE: Room 126, Physics Building, MU Campus

Laws Observatory is located on the fifth floor of the Physics Building.

WHEN: Discussion: 7 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 2.

Observatory Hours: 8 to 10 p.m. on Wednesdays.

NOTE: This event is free and open to the public.