Mars beckons

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On Aug. 27, Mars will be closer to Earth than it has been in more than 60,000 years. But that’s still about 55 million km away, so don’t expect to reach out and touch it.

Given this rare opportunity to observe the red planet, UBC is opening its Observatory for free public viewing on the nights of Aug. 23, Aug. 27, Aug. 28, and Aug. 30, from 10:30 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. — if the skies are clear.

Mars has been prominent to the naked eye for most of the summer — a bright, orange-red “star” shining low in the southeast just after dusk. By taking advantage of the telescope at UBC, Mars-gazers will have the opportunity to see one of the Martian polar caps and evidence of dust storms on the red planet. The polar caps contain a large amount of ice which may have been thawed in the past and give scientists hope that Mars might once have supported some form of simple life.


President Bush announced that we were landing on Mars today… which means he’s given up on Earth.

JON STEWART, The Daily Show

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