Telescope Viewing Available for Up-Close Look at Eclipse

Before and after the balloon launch, nine powerful telescopes with appropriate filters will be available in the east end zone of Houck Field for visitors to get an up-close look at this rare event. Assisting with telescope viewing will be Dr. Phillip Reed, associate professor of physics and astronomy and director of the Planetarium and Observatory at Kutztown University, and Dennis Vollink, president of Drury Southwest Inc., and a local astrophotographer.  Reed, a colleague of Southeast President Carlos Vargas, will bring two telescopes with him for public viewing of the eclipse. 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. Vollink, whose passion for the depths of the universe led to the creation of his own observatory atop his home in Cape Girardeau, also will provide telescopes for viewing and guidance on using them Aug. 21. In addition, Rahul Venkatraman, an engineer at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and co-founder and Project Leader of the High Altitude Balloon Club at Texas A&M University, will set up his telescope on the field and will project images onto an external screen for visitors to watch.