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Mars Event Attracts Enthusiastic Viewers

The Institute for Astronomy's Mars Event drew more than 100 students and members of the community to Kapiolani Park on September 16. Although the closest approach of the two planets had occurred three weeks earlier, Mars was still large and bright enough to be visible with the naked eye and, certainly, with a small telescope.

Participants heard IfA planetary astronomer David Tholen discuss a range of topics centered on Mars and viewed the planet through portable telescopes with the assistance of IfA graduate students and faculty. A laptop computer provided further information and showed images of the red planet, and star charts, poster calendars, and other materials were also available.

Comments from students were enthusiastic: "Learned so much!" "Fun and interesting!" "[I] would gladly participate in another astronomy event." "I didn't decide my research topics yet, but now I think I'll choose astronomy-related topics." "Dave is so knowledgeable, I learned so much from his talk!" "I wish I could purchase a telescope to look at the sky on my own."