Mars invaded on August 5
NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory, known as Curiosity, is scheduled to land on Mars at 7:31 p.m. Hawai‘i Standard Time on Sunday August 5. This is the largest and most complex rover we’ve sent to Mars, and arguably the most complex robot ever sent to any other world in the solar system. The rover, roughly the size of an SUV, will be able to take detailed high-definition images of Mars and to microscopically examine the soil. The mission will land in Gale Crater, which is about 5 degrees south of the Martian equator. Learn more on this mission from NASA.
There is a possibility that the Curiosity rover might take and transmit images of its Martian landing site soon after touchdown. Hawai‘i is well placed to take advantage of this landing, since Curiosity touches down fairly early in the evening Hawaii ‘i Standard Time, at 7:31 p.m. on August 5. (For folks on the east coast, by contrast, the landing occurs at 1:31 a.m. on August 6.)
Bishop Museum will present an Invasion of Mars night on Sunday August 5 from 6:30 to 10:00 p.m. We’ll have a webcast of the landing in the event that we do get some early pictures sent back from the red planet. Of course these images are not 100 per cent guaranteed so we’ll surround the landing with other Mars events. We’ll have planetarium programs about the red planet; present a Science on a Sphere program on Mars; show a brief film about the landing of Curiosity; and view Mars and Saturn with telescope (weather permitting) from Bishop Museum’s grounds.
Admission for Invasion of Mars night is free for Bishop Museum members, $10 for adults and $5 for kids 4-12.
The planetarium, observatory and Science Adventure Center will be open that night.
Reservations are required. Please call 847-8203 or reserve online.