April 8, 2019

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

VSU Planetarium Presents “The Sound of Mars” April 11

VALDOSTA — The Valdosta State University Planetarium will present “The Sound of Mars” at 7 p.m., 8 p.m., and 9 p.m. on Thursday, April 11. This presentation is free of charge and open to the public.

“The Sound of Mars” will begin with a look at the April sky, with Mars in view, and preview the Lyrid meteor shower and some astronomical events of the summer. It will then highlight NASA’s Mars InSight Mission, which landed on the Red Planet on Nov. 26, 2018.

According to NASA, “InSight, short for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy, and Heat Transport, is a Mars lander designed to give the Red Planet its first thorough checkup since it formed 4.5 billion years ago. It is the first outer space robotic explorer to study in-depth the ‘inner space’ of Mars — its crust, mantle, and core. Studying Mars' interior structure answers key questions about the early formation of rocky planets in our inner solar system — Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars — more than 4 billion years ago, as well as rocky exoplanets. InSight also measures tectonic activity and meteorite impacts on Mars today.

“The lander uses cutting edge instruments to delve deep beneath the surface and seek the fingerprints of the processes that formed the terrestrial planets. It does so by measuring the planet's ‘vital signs,’ its ‘pulse’ (seismology), ‘temperature’ (heat flow), and ‘reflexes’ (precision tracking).

“This mission is part of NASA’s Discovery Program for highly focused science missions that ask critical questions in solar system science.”

Seating for each of the three presentations is limited to 47 guests. Free admission tickets will be distributed beginning at 6 p.m. on a first-come, first-served basis at the VSU Planetarium.

The VSU Observatory will be open from 8 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., weather permitting, allowing guests the opportunity to view the moon, Mars, stars, and constellations.  

Located on the third floor of Nevins Hall, the VSU Planetarium features a Digitarium Kappa digital projector, which can reproduce the night sky as seen from anywhere on Earth or from the surface of any object in the solar system, at any time in history, past or future. This technology is the first of its kind in the world.

Limited parking will be available in front of Nevins Hall and across Patterson Street.

Planetarium public outreach shows are appropriate for children and adults ages 5 and up.

“The Sound of Mars” is the final presentation of the 2018-2019 season.

Contact VSU’s Department of Physics, Astronomy, and Geosciences at (229) 333-5752 for more information.

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