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Interactive Event Brings Planets to Life

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Community invited to participate in College’s first-ever Solar System Walk.

ROSEBURG, Oregon – On Thursday, May 17, an out-of-this-world event is happening at Umpqua Community College (UCC). Between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., nearly 600 people from all over the Umpqua Valley have signed up to participate in the campus’s first-ever Solar System Walk.

The cost-free walk, which was created by UCC associate astronomy professor Dr. Paul Morgan, is a scale model of the solar system aligned specifically for May 17. Participants will be able to experience the solar system’s size and planetary layout in a fun, interactive way.

People can walk from the Sun to Neptune in one kilometer. Along the way, local astronomers will be in place to share fun facts and data about each planet. All participants will get a "Solar System Passport" with a map and information about each planet. A second solar system, with the eight planets of the Kepler 90 star, will be placed at the same scale for comparison.

Morgan was encouraged to bring this idea to life by one of his associate groups, and he decided to make it a collaborative community effort.

“Many local groups have partnered together to make this event fun and interesting for our community,” Morgan said. “Along with our local astronomy club and UCC programs, Blue Zones Project-Umpqua is also partnering with us to help out.”

The May 17 event is primarily designed for kids who are in school. Many of the area’s home-school and private school students have signed up to participate.

For those who aren’t able to attend Thursday’s event, a second Solar System Walk will be held Saturday, May 19, on the UCC main campus in conjunction with the Second Annual STEAM Extravaganza. The family-friendly, free event is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Learn more at www.umpqua.edu/steam-extravaganza.

See related story: STEAM Extravaganza Coming to UCC.

About Umpqua Community College

Nestled in the beautiful North Umpqua River Valley, Umpqua Community College is the regional center for higher education in Douglas County, Oregon. UCC provides high quality college degree programs, workforce development, and community learning opportunities.

Contact

Dr. Paul Morgan Contact
Associate Professor, Astronomy
Phone: 541-440-4719

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