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Levys to speak at NMSU astronomy presentation

Levys to speak at NMSU astronomy presentation

unter David Levy and his wife Wendee Wallach-Levy will speak at New Mexico State University on Friday, Oct. 22, for a program commemorating the naming of an asteroid in honor of NMSU.

The event begins at 2 p.m. in Room 194 of Gerald Thomas Hall at the corner of Knox Street and College Drive.

Levy was one of the discoverers of Asteroid No. 24778, now officially named Nemsu in recognition of the contributions NMSU has made to astronomy. Wallach-Levy, a graduate of NMSU, proposed the name to the International Astronomical Union.

Wallach-Levy taught physical education in the Las Cruces School District for 26 years before beginning a new career in astronomy with Levy. Her illustrated talk, "Astronomy Through the Back Door," will describe the growth of the Levys' Jarnac Observatory near Tucson "and what it was like to go from organizing classes to organizing an observatory."

Levy's talk, "A Nightwatchman's Journey: My Adventures as a Star Gazer and Comet Hunter," will describe a career that began with a childhood fascination with the night sky.

Levy and Carolyn Shoemaker discovered the asteroid now known as Nemsu in 1993. The two, along with Eugene Shoemaker, also were discoverers of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9, which made international headlines when it collided with Jupiter in 1994.

A reception will follow the talks. Later, starting at 7 p.m., the NMSU Department of Astronomy will hold an open house at the campus observatory, located on the east side of Williams Avenue, between Gregg and Wells streets.

Nemsu will not be visible, but weather permitting, participants at the open house will observe the moon, the planet Uranus, the ring nebula and the globular cluster M15. Astronomy personnel on hand will be faculty member Tom Harrison and graduate students Erica Voges, Ashley Ruiter, Daniel Ceverino and Carrie Anderson.

For more information call the astronomy department at (505) 646-4438.