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Mars Still Close!
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Currently the apparent size of Mars is about 25 arcseconds (the apparent size of a dime at 500 feet). As the Earth moves farther away from Mars over the next months, Mars will appear to get smaller and smaller. At its most distant, Mars has an apparent size of only 4 arcseconds.
Image taken 8/21/03 at the University at Albany by C. Gino.


You may have just seen it make its closest approach to Earth in recorded history. You can still see it nightly, blazing in the sky. Now learn more about Mars from world experts.
The planet Mars - its science, lore, history and fascination - will be the subject of a Panel Discussion on September 21st.

September 21
3:00 - 5:00 PM
Panel Discussion about Mars at Olin Auditorium, Union College, Schenectady.
This event is open to the public and free of charge.
For more information call the Dudley Observatory at (518)382-7583.
The panel will consist of Heidi DeBlock, space medicine expert, John Delano, planetary scientist, David Portree, Mars researcher and author, and Scott Teare, physicist, astronomer and instrumentation expert. Chairing the panel will be Colleen Gino, director of the Dudley Observatory.

The panel has been designed to offer something to all ages, and to those with interest in Mars at all levels. Whether you are merely wondering what the recent hullabaloo is all about, or are a serious student of the Red Planet, there will be something for you. Each panelist brings a unique and complementary perspective.

Dr. DeBlock is an Assistant Professor of Surgery and Anesthesiology at the Albany Medical Center where she is an attending physician in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit. She has been working with NASA, Johnson Space Center's Cardiovascular Laboratory since 1990 as a Visiting Research Scientist. In her research she has examined astronauts and studied on-board data to determine the effect of weightlessness on the body. Dr. DeBlock's research has taken her to the Kennedy Space Center and the Dryden Spaceflight Research Center to attend shuttle landings over the past four years.

Professor Delano holds the rank of Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the University at Albany, and a winner of the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching. He is a Principal Investigator in NASA's Exobiology program, and is an Associate Director of the New York Center for Studies on the Origin of Life at RPI, which is one of only two NASA Specialized Centers of Research and Training for Exobiology in the United States.

Portree is an award-winning science writer and historian based in Flagstaff, Arizona. He is a regular contributor to the syndicated Earth & Sky radio series, .has written several scholarly histories for NASA including "Humans to Mars: Fifty Years of Mission Planning (2001)",  and is currently working on a history of Mars Sample Return mission planning to be published next year. David has recently joined the faculty of the Mars Institute, an international non-profit organization dedicated to furthering "the scientific study, exploration and public understanding of Mars.

Dr. Teare is a professor of electrical engineering and physics at New Mexico Tech and astronomy at San Diego State University. He is an active researcher in experimental adaptive optics for the past 6 years and has been involved in the development of the laser guide star adaptive optics system on the 100-inch telescope at the Mount Wilson Observatory. He has been a regular observer of the planets through meter class telescopes and has co-published unique ground-based images of the planet Mercury in the astronomical literature.

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