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Central Illinois University Gets High Accreditation

Thanks to the work of three IWU students, senior Chelsea Davitt, junior Kyle Connour, and '13 alum Daniel La Rocca, the Mark Evans observatory is now classified as an official observing site.
BLOOMINGTON - A Central Illinois university reached for the stars and now they have a high honor for it.

Thanks to the work of three IWU students, senior Chelsea Davitt, junior Kyle Connour, and '13 alum Daniel La Rocca,  the Mark Evans observatory is now classified as an official observing site.

The students worked many late nights over the summer, upgrading the camera and telescope and recording data on the heavenly bodies in the night sky. Because of that work, future classes will have greater access with space programs.

"Should be discover a new comet or a new supernova, we can send that discovery in. It will be then be sent out and checked and it will certainly make that process go much smoother," said Linda French, physics professor at IWU.

"We want to get rotation periods, we want to get absolute magnitudes, things like that and so going forward, we're trying to work with actual data that's more important than what we got this summer,” said Daniel La Rocca, IWU alum.

The students work over the summer was funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation.
If you'd like to check out the observatory yourself, it's open to the public Sunday through Thursday from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m.

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