UTSA 'Friday Nights, Celestial Lights' series focuses on NASA Mars rover Oct. 18

NASA rover view of Mars

Photo of Mount Sharp on Mars taken by NASA rover Curiosity

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(Oct. 15, 2013) -- UTSA faculty astronomers invite the community to attend "Friday Nights, Celestial Lights," featuring Mark Jurena from the UTSA Department of Physics and Astronomy. Free and open to the public, the family-friendly astronomy event is 7:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 18 in Science Building Room 2.02.02 on the UTSA Main Campus.

The NASA rover Curiosity has been roaming around Mars since August 2012. What has it found to date? Jurena will discuss Curiosity's findings.

Following Jurena's 40-minute presentation, and weather permitting, attendees can view the night sky using UTSA's telescopes including a 15-inch telescope and several 8-inch Cassegrain telescopes. Telescope viewing will be outside on the fourth-floor patio of the Flawn Science Building, which is wheelchair accessible. The Ring Nebula in Lyra, Albireo, and Venus may be visible.

The UTSA Department of Physics and Astronomy hosts "Friday Nights, Celestial Lights" on the third Friday each month during the fall and spring semesters. The programs are regularly updated on the UTSA Department of Physics and Astronomy page on Facebook. The next program is Friday, Nov. 16.

"Friday Nights, Celestial Lights" lectures and viewings began in 2009 as a celebration of the International Year of Astronomy, commemorating the 400th anniversary of Galileo Galilei using a telescope to observe the heavens.

For more information, contact Eric Schlegel, UTSA Vaughan Family Professor, at 210-458-6425 or Mark Jurena, UTSA astronomy lecturer, at 210-458-4922.