News Release
  May 27, 2003


Mission College brings the heavens to Sylmar when it holds an "Evening Under the Stars" on June 6 at Veterans Park.

The community is invited to the event, which will feature a brief lecture suited for non-astronomers, followed by stargazing through telescopes that will be arranged in Veterans Park. There is no charge.

The event is the inspiration of instructor Richard Rains, who has taught astronomy and physics at Mission College for the last 12 years and for more than 20 years overall in the Los Angeles Community College District.

"It always gives me joy to see the sense of awe most people come away with the first time they look through a telescope," said Rains. "I want to share that with others."

Rains feels too many people never have the opportunity to look through a telescope, particularly in economically disadvantaged communities. The educational or career choices of some, he said, might change if they have this opportunity.

Guests will include two of Rains' former students: Farisa Morales, an astrophysics researcher with the Space Infrared Telescope Facility project at JPL; and Jose Ceja, a Master's candidate in physics at CSUN who conducts research at the San Fernando Observatory.

The event begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Cultural Arts Center in Veterans Park, 13000 Sayre Street, Sylmar. Telescopes for viewing after dark will be set up outdoors in the park proper.

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