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First Friday Astronomy Event: Mars Lecture on Nov. 2

image of Mars
Mars, from the NASA Mars Exploration Image Gallery.

The Boise State Department of Physics hosts Serina Diniega, a Mars scientist and member of the Jet Propulsion Lab’s Mars Program Office, for a talk titled “Deciphering Mars: Current and Upcoming Exploration of the Red Planet.”

The talk will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 2, in the Education Building, room 112. Weather permitting, stargazing will be available at 8:30 p.m. in the campus observatory. The program is free and open to the public.

Currently, several rovers and orbiters are exploring Mars. On Nov. 26 a new lander named InSight will be added. The data that these spacecraft collect will aid understanding both the present state and history of Mars, as reflected in its atmospheric and surface composition and structure, in its landforms, and in its thermal flux and subsurface structure. Piecing together the results of many investigations and studies has shown that parts of Mars’ structure and history might be or have been Earth-like, but also that there are many ways this planet is very different from our home planet.