Sometimes Mars orbits much closer to the Earth, and that's the perfect time to observe it through telescopes. The red planet will be especially close and bright on the night of Tuesday, July 31, so Flandrau has teamed up with the UA's Steward Observatory to organize a special "Mars Magnified" event!
You can see Mars up close through two powerful telescopes on the UA campus – the Steward Observatory telescope and the Flandrau observatory telescope – from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.
The "Mars Magnified" event is organized in collaboration the UA Lunar and Planetary Lab, the Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter, and the Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association.
Thanks to support from the UA Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, the evening will begin with a special presentation, "Mars Madness," by planetary scientist Steve Kortenkamp, associate professor of practice at LPL. Kortenkamp's presentation, at 8 p.m. in the Eos Planetarium Theater at Flandrau, will review the history of Martian exploration, explain why Mars is now so close to Earth, and give an overview of the other planets visible in the night sky at this time of year. After Kortenkamp's presentation, there will be planetarium shows every hour on the hour with a final show at 12 a.m.
Please note, telescope viewing requires a clear sky, so it is "weather permitting," but the Mars presentation and planetarium shows will run regardless of clear or cloudy skies.
To learn more, visit the Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium website at the link below.