NORTH NEWTON, KAN.- A Mars Madness Weekend is scheduled for Aug. 29 and 30 at Mabee Observatory in Krehbiel Science Center (KSC), Bethel College, North Newton. The event will give students and the public the opportunity to use the observatory to observe Mars at a distance closer to Earth than it has been at any time in recorded history. Mabee Observatory will be open 10 p.m. until midnight both evenings for telescopic viewings of Mars. Admission is free and open to the public. "This is a great opportunity to study the Red Planet and to see some of the planet’s surface features and striking south polar cap," says Tracy Tuttle, the observatory’s director and coordinator. Besides the night sky viewing of Mars, additional activities are also planned.
A student presentation by Travis Stephenson, a Bethel College physics major from McPherson, is scheduled for 8:30 p.m., Friday, Aug. 29 in room 16, KSC. Stephenson will introduce the planet and present results of his recent research on Mars. After the presentation, beginning at 10 p.m., Mabee Observatory will be open to the public until midnight on Friday.
Saturday’s Mars Madness begins with a science fiction movie, "The War of the Worlds." The movie is a 1953 film adaptation of the story first told on radio of the invasion of Earth by Martians. The movie runs 85 minutes and is rated G. Show time is 8 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 30 in room 16, KSC. Mabee Observatory will be open to the public from 10 p.m. until midnight on Saturday.
Mabee Observatory is located on the fourth floor of KSC and is accessible by elevator.