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Boise State to host free Mars viewing party

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Posted at 10:56 AM, May 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-24 15:27:57-04

Mars will make its closest approach to Earth in over a decade on Tuesday, May 31.

To celebrate, Boise State’s physics department will host an astronomical viewing party from 8:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

“At the end of May and going into June, Mars will be the closest and brightest that it’s been in a decade as seen from the Earth,” said Brian Jackson, assistant professor of physics -- and the event organizer. “This celestial alignment won’t happen again for two years, so the event will be an unusually good time to view our sister planet.”

The evening will kick off in the Multipurpose Classroom Building with a public talk on the latest science of the red planet from planetary scientist Josh Bandfield of the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colorado.

Then at 9:30 p.m., participants will move to the Boise State Quad north of the Administration Building, where telescopes will be set up to view Mars, Jupiter and Saturn.