Astronomy crowdfunding campaign raises nearly $900 to enhance student classroom experience

Community donations provide new materials to support instruction

November 01, 2023 |

Alumni, Staff, and community members generally donated more than 800$ to the Astronomy minor as part of the University's recent Fall 2023 Crowdfunding campaigns.  

With the funds raised from these donations, multiple items were purchased to support the student's classroom experience in astronomy courses.  

Astronomy students in the introductory-level coursework will now have the opportunity to directly handle and examine three important meteorites that were purchased with these donations.   These included samples of the  iron meteorite recovered near Canyon Diablo Arizona, a stony-iron meteorite collected from near to the town of Sericho, Kenya, and a carbonaceous meteorite from Allende, Mexico.  These three stones were specifically selected for their ability to illustrate to students the formation and evolution of asteroids in the univers, with the Allende meteorite itself containing dust particles that predate the solar system itself with ages in excess of 4.6 billion years. 

Donations will also support hardware replacement of components of the he Standeford 14-inch telescope, which has gone unused in AST 125 and at public nights on campus.   Remaining funds after this upgrade will then be used to support travel and supply costs associated with the once-in-a-lifetime AST 493 course in which students will travel to Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas to observe the April 8 2024 total solar eclipse.

The Astronomy faculty are grateful for the outpouring of donations to support the student learning experience.  Those who donated are welcome to contact Assoc. Professor Michael Rutkowski ( about ways to see these investments "in action".  As illustrated below, the meteorites have already captured the attention of our students --- we look forward to revealing more of the universe to students and the community generally with these investments in MNSU Astronomy. 


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