October 10, 2012

Planetarium Show Examines the Cold, Blue Spheres of Mars Friday, Oct. 12

VALDOSTA - Valdosta State University’s planetarium will present The Cold, Blue Spheres of Mars public planetarium show Friday, Oct. 12. Showings will be presented at 7 p.m., 8 p.m. and 9 p.m.

The show will include discussion on NASA’s recent findings on Mars. Dr. Martha Leakes, professor of astronomy, will share some information how NASA is using the Curiosity rover and the Opportunity rover for Mars exploration.

“Over several decades researchers have analyzed the history of Mars and its climate, and some are concluding that Mars was cold and dry for most of its 4.5 billion year life,” said Leakes. “But the blueberries - tiny spheres of hematite discovered by Spirit and Opportunity in 2004 - indicated standing water on the surface.”

Leakes added that the discovery of new spheres have led to questions about the cold and dry history of Mars.

Registration for any of the three showings will begin Friday at 6 p.m. The shows are free of charge and are suitable for ages five and up. If weather permits telescopes will be available to observe Mars and stars and galaxies at the observatory on the roof of Nevins Hall. Seating is limited to 47 visitors per show, and admission is on a first come, first serve basis.

The planetarium is located in room 3004 on the third floor of Nevins Hall and can be accessed by entering at the southeast tower and taking the stairs or elevator to the third floor.

For additional information please contact the Department of Physics, Astronomy and Geosciences at (229) 333-5752.