Bringing the cosmos indoors

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Real astronomers don't let overcast skies spoil their fun.

Jennifer Jones, the chair of Arapahoe Community College's astronomy department, hosts a series of "star parties" every semester, hauling the college's beefy telescopes onto the campus's west lawn to peer into the heavens.

The last star party of the season got rained out on April 26, but Jones brought the cosmos indoors, busting out her collection of meteorite chunks and using a projector to turn a classroom ceiling into a makeshift planetarium.

Jones said she hopes her star parties help people reacquaint themselves with the great beyond.

"We're so disconnected from this thing that's always there," Jones said. "I try to give people knowledge they can use: What are the constellations? What are objects you can spot with the naked eye? I hope it brings joy to people's lives."

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