Skip to main content

First Friday Astronomy Lecture: Up Close on Mars

Image of the surface of Mars
Photo Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Join the Boise State physics department at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5, in room 112 of the education building for the department’s monthly First Friday lecture. The event, including parking, is free and open to the public.

This month’s topic: ultra high-resolution images of Mars with Nicole Baugh from the University of Arizona.

At 8:30 p.m., weather permitting, attendees will be able to stargaze on the rooftop of the Science and Education Building at the Boise State Observatory. Note, the observatory is not handicap-accessible; telescopes also will be set out on the plaza in front of the building.

HiRISE is the most powerful camera ever sent to another planet, one of six instruments onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). Launched in 2005, it arrived at Mars in 2006 and has been imaging ever since. The camera’s high resolution capability (imaging up to 30 centimeters per pixel) has helped select landing sites for robotic and future human exploration, captured rovers in mid-descent, imaged avalanches in progress, and discovered dark flows that may be briny seeps.

Nicole Baugh, HiRISE Uplink planning lead, will discuss details of HiRISE image planning and discoveries from the HiRISE instrument. After Baugh earned a master’s in planetary science from the University of Arizona, she joined the HiRISE operations team in 2008. Baugh collaborates with team scientists and MRO mission personnel to acquire high quality data products (and beautiful imagery).

Parking will be available for guests in the Brady Garage. Attendees will be able to park in any space that is not designated by a sign. Remember your license plate then proceed to a pay kiosk. The pay kiosks are available on each floor by the staircase. Attendees will need to remember their license plate and select “Astronomy Event” on the screen. Follow the step-by-step prompts on the kiosks. You will be given a receipt once the transaction is finished; the receipt does not have to be placed on the dash.

Questions or concerns? Contact the event parking team:, 208-426-7275