Astronomy Talk and Star Party at Penn State Mont Alto

M57: The Ring Nebula

An example planetary nebula in our Milky Way Galaxy which lies about 4,000 light years away and is roughly 500 times the diameter of our solar system, according to

Credit: H. Bond et al, Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), NASA

Are you curious about the night sky and astronomy? Join Penn State Mont Alto Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy Kimberly Herrmann as she presents her Ph.D. thesis research, “Planetary Nebulae in Spiral Galaxies: Shedding Some Light on Dark Matter.”  

Herrmann's presentation will be held on April 6 in the General Studies Auditorium on the University’s campus. The doors will open at 6:30 p.m. with original constellation riddle seating slides. The talk will begin at 7 p.m. with astronomy-themed cookies provided at 8 p.m. Weather permitting, a Star Party will follow from 8:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. in the field behind the Multipurpose Activities Center (MAC). Both the presentation and Star Party are free of charge and open to the public.

“I hope no one will be intimidated by the title of my talk,” said Herrmann. “One of the things I’ve always liked about my thesis research is that it ties together many different aspects of astronomy. I will explain various terms and there will be many beautiful images and even a few animations throughout the talk.”

Telescope viewing and night sky tours with green laser pointers will be part of the Star Party activities. Multiple telescopes should be available, courtesy of the TriState Astronomers (, a local amateur astronomy club.

If the weather cooperates for the Start Party and the sky is clear, it might be cool, so participants are encouraged to wear warm clothing.

For more information about the event, contact Debra Collins, director of public relations and marketing at 717-749-6112 or email [email protected]