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Bradley students explore the night sky

Students pointing out the stars to each other.
Photo by Jackson Shaltiel

The Activities Council of Bradley University (ACBU) hosted a night under the stars on Sept. 9, an opportunity for Bradley students to learn more about the night sky.

During their night under the stars, students could observe the solar system up close through the telescope, or lean back and listen to explanations of constellations from physics professor Gregory Simonian.

Student looking through a telescope at the stars.
Photo by Jackson Shaltiel

Simonian is an Assistant Professor in residence at Bradley University, and has a Ph.D. in astronomy from Ohio State University. At the event, Simonian mapped out several popular constellations and other points in the sky for students to learn about.

At the end of the day, the event was just a place for students to cuddle up with a blanket and friends, enjoying a new perspective of the dark night sky. 

Being ACBU’s first event of the semester, planning for a night under the stars began at the end of summer break. 

According to Vice President of ACBU, senior Jack Batz, ACBU organized the same event in 2020. This year’s board took inspiration from the original event and wanted to recreate it. They rented a telescope from the Peoria Riverfront Museum, set up a DJ booth and gave out picnic blankets for students to lie on.

“We wanted to create a homey feel, so we came up with blankets: something that students could use in the future,” Batz said. 

Attendees were sprawled across Alumni Quad on either blankets, the grass or red Bradley lawn chairs.

Students gathering on Alumni Quad for the ACBU event.
Photo by Jackson Shaltiel

ACBU members who helped organize the night under the stars voiced contentment with the event’s turnout.

“I am glad I got to work with our faculty members and community to make the event the best it could be,” ACBU board member Brad Dixion said.

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