View Full Version : Mars Opposition 2003

2003-Aug-13, 07:44 PM
As you all know, Mars is getting bigger and brighter this summer - it will be visually the largest in the sky on August 27. Because this is the closest it's going to be in 60,000 years, it's going to create an enormous media frenzy. Similar to when we have lunar and solar eclipses.

This is a unique opportunity for astronomy enthusiasts to help build the general public's interest in space and astronomy. All it takes is to set up a reasonable telescope in a public place and encourage people walking by to take a look at Mars. Don't worry, they won't think you're crazy, and you'll be giving them chance to experience astronomy with their own eyes. It's one of the most rewarding experiences an astronomer can have.

So, I'm asking you to get organized. Host a star party for your friends. Head to a public park. Take your telescope onto the streets of your town. Because they're so bright, watching the planets doesn't require as dark of a sky as fainter objects. It'll look amazing to people, even from downtown in a bright city.

Use this as an opportunity to educate - interest people in the science of astronomy. And if you're feeling particularly ambitious, use it as a way to gain support for the astronomy causes that you feel passionately about. Promote your local astronomical club or space society. Get people to sign petitions for local dark sky efforts or to lobby the government to increase funding for space exploration.

I'm maintaining a list of all the Mars 2003 (http://www.universetoday.com/html/special/mars2003.html) events here, and I'll keep updating it until the 27th. If you or your club has plans for this event, let me know and I'll add it to the list.

Let's hear your ideas. What ways can astronomy fans use this event to build enthusiasm for astronomy and space exploration?

2003-Aug-14, 02:45 PM

I went over your list of Mars parties, and I did not see one event for Ontario. Is there no one hosting a party here? :angry:

If anyone is going to assist those of us with no telescopes by hosting a mars party for say the Orangeville, Brampton area, PLEASE SPEAK UP!

I personally would LOVE the opportunity to see this thru a telescope!

2003-Aug-14, 04:39 PM
I'm just getting started. Mars party information is still coming in fast and furious, and my next step is going to be to contact planetariums, astronomy societies and science centres to get their info. But don't just rely on me. :-)

2003-Aug-14, 06:24 PM
The SORAC Project is having a Mars party on Saturday the 23rd of August in Hollister, CA. at the Airport. We are looking for handouts and informational materials.

We have slides, "RED Planet Mars" video, but need more ideas. Any out there? TIA.

2003-Aug-15, 12:03 AM
Hey, anyone passing through Burns, OR on 27 Aug 2003 stop by the Health Department (I work there) and ask for directions up to Mosquito Flats. I'm throwing a Mars Party (No booze or Drugs) I'll have one telescope set up and some hot chocolate. My kids will be there, as well as my boss. So, please be on your best behavior :D

Anyway, we're hoping for some good clean fun and anyone wanting the same is welcome.

Semper Fi,