UToledo News » Stargazers invited to view Mars at its best at UT’s renovated Brooks Observatory

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Stargazers invited to view Mars at its best at UT’s renovated Brooks Observatory

After Memorial Day weekend, The University of Toledo Ritter Planetarium is opening the doors to its newly renovated Brooks Observatory for Mars Watch 2016.

The public is invited from 9:30 to 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, May 31-June 2, to view the Red Planet through the UT telescope as Mars marks its closest approach to Earth in more than a decade.

The public is invited to view Mars, seen here in this image from NASA, at UT's Brooks Observatory Tuesday through Thursday, May 31-June 2.

The public is invited to view Mars, seen here in this image from NASA, at UT’s Brooks Observatory Tuesday through Thursday, May 31-June 2.

“There is a window every two and a half years when the views of Mars are exceptional because the planet comes into what is called opposition – the point when Mars and the sun are on directly opposite sides of the Earth,” Alex Mak, associate director of UT Ritter Planetarium, said. “Each year is a little bit different. This year is one of the better ones.”

The free event is dependent on clear skies.

“This opportunity to see Mars at its best will be fascinating for people of all ages,” Mak said. “Mars is probably everybody’s favorite planet besides Earth. The zillion dollar question is whether there is life on Mars. We don’t know yet. It’s going to be the first planet we ever travel to. As far as conditions, it’s the one that is most like Earth.”

Visitors are invited to meet in the lobby of McMaster Hall, where they will be guided up to Brooks Observatory.

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