The public is invited to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Hyde Memorial Observatory Saturday, September 30 with a free presentation by a NASA engineer. Nagin Cox, Spacecraft Operations Engineer, NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) will speak at 7:30 p.m. at the UNL Student Union Auditorium, 1400 "R" Street. Following the program, the public is invited to enjoy night sky viewing at the observatory on the south side of Holmes Lake, 3701 S. 70th Street.
Cox is currently a mission leader for the Curiosity Rover, which has been exploring Mars since 2012. In her 20 years as a Spacecraft Operations Engineer, she has held various leadership and engineering positions on numerous NASA/JPL interplanetary robotic missions. Those include the Galileo mission to Jupiter, the Kepler exoplanet hunter and the InSight mission to probe beneath the surface of Mars.
Hyde Memorial Observatory, which opened in 1977, was created by a group of interested citizens led by Carroll Moore. It was funded with a donation from Mrs. Leicester Hyde in honor of her late husband. The volunteer-run observatory is owned by the City of Lincoln and operated by the Parks and Recreation Department. All equipment and programs are funded through donations.
The Hyde Memorial Observatory is open every Saturday and admission is free. Hours change seasonally. For more information about the observatory, current programs or the anniversary event, call 402-441-7094 or visit hydeobservatory.info.