Monday, February 16, 2009

Getting to know your neighbors

In this solar system, it's far but so near...

NEW HAVEN - What's 500 million miles from the sun, but named after the Roman god of war?

If you guessed (or knew it is) Mars, you were right, and can learn more about the fascinating Red Planet, by joining Steve Squyres, Goldwin Professor of Astronomy, Cornell University, and principal investigator of the Mars Exploration Rover Mission at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 19 at the Yale Peabody Museum on Whitney Avenue.

The event, free and open to the public will be held in the museum's auditorium on the third floor.

Squyres will provide an up-to-date summary of robotic missions that in Jan. 2004, landed twin robotic explorers, Spirit and Opportunity, on Mars.
Expected to last for 90 days, the two rovers have been exploring the Martian surface for five years. Their objective is to search for evidence of past water and determine whether Mars ever had conditions that would have been suitable for life.

Squyres will speak about everything from initial conception of the project through current operations on the surface of Mars.
The program is part of the Hall of Minerals, Earth and Space lecture series.

The top photo shows an artist’s impression of one of NASA’s twin Mars Exploration Rovers exploring the surface of the Red Planet. Photos and details provide by the Yale Peabody Museum.

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