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The May Sky

Dates: May 18-25, 2021

Meets: Tu from 8:00 PM to 10:00 PM

Location: Instructional Complex 208

Course Fee: $36.00

Ages 12 to adult

Taught by Gordon professor Dr. Richard Schmude who currently is the associate director of the Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers. Earlier this year, he received the distinguished honor of having an asteroid named as the 2000 EY3/Schmude Asteroid, which was discovered 16 years ago by the Catalina Sky Survey.

In this class, you will learn to view the night sky using binoculars and telescopes, no prior experience necessary. If the skies are clear, we will also go outside and look at various objects in the night sky. We should be able to see Jupiter and Saturn, and with a little luck, we may be able to see Mars. It is recommended to bring smart devices, and optional to bring your own telescope or binoculars.

The class will also have an optional meeting at noon on Monday May 25 to observe the transit of Venus if skies are clear.


Fee: $36.00

Instructional Complex 208

Instructional Complex

The Instructional Complex is on the northwest side of campus, beside Hightower Library and Russell Hall. (Building 27 on the interactive map)

Dr. Richard Schmude

Dr. Richard Willis Schmude, Jr., was born in Washington D.C., and attended public schools in Cabin John, Maryland; Los Angeles, California; and Houston, Texas. He started his college career at North Harris County College and graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Chemistry. Later, he obtained a Master of Science degree in Chemistry, a Bachelor of Arts degree in Physics, and a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry, all from Texas A&M University. He worked at NALCO Chemical Company as a graduate co-op student and at Los Alamos National Laboratory as a graduate research assistant.

Since 1994, Richard has taught astronomy, chemistry, and other science classes at Gordon State College in Barnesville, Georgia. He is a tenured professor at this college and continue to teach his students (and others) in these area. He has published over 100 scientific papers in many different journals and has given over 500 talks, telescope viewing sessions and workshops to over 25,000 people.

An asteroid discovered in 2000 has been named after Richard Schmude.

“I feel so very honored by this,” Schmude said.

Schmude Asteroid, formerly known as 2000 EY3 was discovered 16 years ago by the Catalina Sky Survey. Schmude says it takes a while for objects to be named and he does not know who chose to give his name to this particular object.

“I hope I can find out and thank them,” he said.

The information on Schmude/2000 EY3 notes that he is a professor at Gordon State College and has served as coordinator for five observing sections in the Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers (ALPO), as executive director and associate director.

Schmude has also received the ALPO Walter Haas and the Peggy Haas awards given to an amateur astronomer for excellence in observational solar system astronomy and for outstanding service to the organization.

Continuing as an active member in ALPO, he is currently measuring the brightness of the planets.
Date Day Time Location
05/18/2021Tuesday8 PM to 10 PM Instructional Complex 208
05/25/2021Tuesday8 PM to 10 PM Instructional Complex 208


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