Winter Star Party; Living on Mars and Our Journey to the Red Planet!

Up to the Minute

From The Kopernik Observatory & Science Center:

Kopernik invites you to the annual Winter Star Party this Saturday, February 22. The doors open at 6 PM and there will be NASA sponsored STEM activities for the entire family. 

Then at 7 PM we will celebrate Kopernik’s 547th birthday with cupcakes and refreshments.  At 7:30 PM, Dr. Michele Thaller, Assistant Director of Science Communication for NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center will do a video conference with us to update us on what NASA has in store for 2020. 

Finally at 8 PM Cornell Professor Dr. Ryan MacDonald present a talk entitled Living on Mars: Our Journey to the Red Planet.

At the end of Professors MacDonald’s presentation, if the skies are clear, view the night sky through Kopernik’s telescopes.

We will offer a laser guided tour of the winter constellations. See the Orion Nebula, star clusters, and much more through Kopernik’s powerful telescopes. See below for more details.

This year’s keynote speaker is Professor Dr. Ryan Macdonald, from Cornell University’s Center for Astrophysics and Planetary Science and the Carl Sagan Institute. 

The race to send the first people to Mars is well underway. But this time, unlike the Moon landings, people will be going to stay. They will explore, make discoveries, and build a home on the Red Planet.

What challenges will need to be overcome to make this a reality, and how can they be dealt with? Which technologies will be needed for a small community to survive (and ultimately thrive) on Mars?

How might the early Martian pioneers engineer unique solutions as they construct the first society on another world? Dr. MacDonald is an exoplanet astronomer based at Cornell University’s Carl Sagan Institute. In this talk, he will explore how humanity will settle on Mars in the 21st century and what life will be like on the Red Planet.

6 PM: Doors Open: Tours/Observing & Family STEM Activities  

7:00 PM: Mikołaj Kopernik’s birthday cake, tours and observing if clear. 

7:30 PM: Video Conference
Michelle Thaller, Assistant Director of Science Communication, Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA  

8:00 PM: Keynote Presentation: Living on Mars: Our Journey to the Red Planet Prof. Ryan MacDonald, Cornell University

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