The Mustang Messenger

Reach for the STARS

Morgan Alwardt, Sports Editor

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The Student Teacher Astronomy Research Society (STARS) is a brand new club to Kennesaw Mountain. As a member of the club, you have exclusive access to use the observatory that other students don’t have.

The observatory along with over $12,000 worth of equipment was generously donated to Kennesaw Mountain by former NASA engineer, and parent of a KMHS student, who designed his own observatory. Kennesaw Mountain was the first and currently is the only high school to have an observatory in the entire state of Georgia and most of the southeast.

Dr. Ingle and Mr. Alexander worked very hard together to come up with the funding to complete the observatory. We received a $2500 grant from the Cobb Foundation to put the observatory into the ground and cover the manual labor, but still lacked adequate funding to set up the observatory. Mr. Alexander went on the Cobb Tank, a spin-off of the hit ABC TV show Shark Tank, asking for $10,000 to fun the rest of the project.

STARS will host viewing nights after school or on the weekend where we will use the observatory to view different planets, stars, and other phenomenon, and also watch astronomy movies and shows such as The Astronaut Wives Club, Hidden Figures, Apollo 13, and Interstellar. STARS held their first viewing night on April 13, 2017 after school, were Jupiter was visible but Mars was obstructed by the clouds. STARS is currently planning to observe the upcoming solar eclipse that comes on the afternoon of August 21, 2017.

For the upcoming school year, STARS is planning several astronomy related field trips. As part of the club dues, which also include a shirt, you get a ticket to the Tellus Museum in Cartersville, Georgia. In addition to the Tellus Museum, STARS is hoping to get permission to go to Cape Canaveral, Florida to visit the Kennedy Space Center, the Air Force Space and Missile Museum, and Cocoa Beach.

For more information about joining STARS or attending a viewing night, visit the club fair this fall!


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Reach for the STARS