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Eclectic mix meet to study the stars

The Astronomy Club, a student organization at the University of Miami, meets on the roof of the Ungar Building on Tuesday nights. On the rooftop dwells a main telescope next to an office the group uses as their meeting room. Brittney Bomnin//Art Director

Members of the University of Miami Astronomy Club may not fit the stereotype.
The club is not completely made up of physics majors, but rather people who want to have a good time and who have a genuine interest in the great beyond.
Sophomore Corinne Nobili-Murphy is an example of the club members’ broad range of majors.
“The Astronomy Club is a place for everyone, not just science majors,” she said. “Take me for example; I’m in advertising and theater.”
About 15 club regulars meet Tuesday nights from 8 to 10 p.m. at the Nicholas Copernicus Observatory, located on top of the Ungar Computer Center, to use the various telescopes, which  range from giant, dome-enclosed telescopes to portable telescopes and even binoculars.
For the club’s president, senior Sean Ahearn, the club is a gateway for people to learn about the stars.
“The astronomy club focuses on educating students and the community about astronomy with a focus on telescopic science in order to give people the tools to explore the universe,” Ahearn said.
Amid frequent hysterical and well-timed “Futurama” references, the members discuss different topics in astronomy, from looking at Jupiter in the Miami sky to discussing Patricia Burchat’s lecture on dark matter and dark energy.
In recent years, the Astronomy Club has joined with Salsa Craze and the Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority to throw a dance party called “Dancing with the Stars.” This year’s event will be held March 8.
“I thought it was an amazing event because three very different organizations collaborated to create a memorable time for students to learn how to salsa and explore aspects of astronomy club,” said senior Rita Zeidan, who is president of Salsa Craze.
Nobili-Murphy said the Astronomy Club has a good time at every meeting.
“You can come here, hang out with your friends and enjoy all the majesty of the galaxy on any regular Tuesday night,” she said.

Manuel Centurion may be contacted at mcenturion@themiamihurricane.com.

INFOBOX INFO

Visit observatory.physics.miami.edu/~observatory/ for further information.

February 16, 2011

Reporters

Manuel Centurion

Contributing News Writer


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