FMU Observatory to View Close Encounter with Mars, Aug. 27
FLORENCE, S.C. – The Francis Marion University observatory will hold a public viewing session Wednesday, Aug. 27, from 7:30 p.m. until 11 p.m. to view the planet Mars.
The session is open to the public free of charge.
On that date, Mars will be closer to Earth than ever before in human history, approximately 34.6 million miles. The next close encounter with the Red Planet will not occur until Aug. 29, 2287.
Mars will be visible in the southeast sky and will move west until morning.
This loosely structured viewing program allows visitors to come and go as they please. If weather conditions block viewing, the session will be canceled. The public may call 843-661-1355 for recorded information about the prospect of a clear sky to allow the event to be held.
The FMU observatory is located beyond the outfield fence of the FMU Softball Field, south of the Smith University Center. Visitors can park in Lot D at the southern end of the campus and follow the walkway to the observatory.
Persons requiring special assistance to visit the observatory, or seeking more information, may call 843-661-1441. The observatory webpage is http://astro.fmarion.edu/observe/
The Dooley planetarium on the FMU campus will also present a program, titled “All About Mars,” at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 24. This program is also open to the public free of charge.