Observe Mars under the stars with the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) Astronomy Club, Aug. 26, and possibly Aug. 27, at 7:30 p.m., on the NJIT campus.
Dale Gary, Ph.D., professor of physics at NJIT and a renowned solar physicist, will lead the observing, offering his thoughts and remarks to club members and interested others. Gary, who has developed a reputation for building telescopes, will use three fine amateur instruments of eight and ten-inch aperture.
(EDITORS: Gary will photograph the event through a telescopic lens from August 23 -2 5, 2003. To obtain Gary’s electronic 300 DPI photos of Mars, by 5 p.m., Aug. 26, contact Sheryl Weinstein, 973-596-3433.)
The observations are scheduled for two nights starting Aug. 26, because if the sky is too cloudy, Gary plans to return Aug. 27. Participants will meet in Parking Lot 7 at NJIT located at the intersection of Summit Street and Central Avenue. The group will move at 7:45 p.m. to the best campus location for an observation at that time.
“The observing offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see Mars as close as it ever gets to Earth in its orbit of 34.6 million miles,” says Gary. The typical distance in orbits between Earth and Mars is 49 million miles, and, at times, Mars can be as distant as 230 million miles. “Although the viewing will take place in a city, surface light pollution will not be a problem due to Mars’ brightness,” said Gary.
Gary is an expert on the Sun, and builds radio telescopes to further his research. He is a member of a larger group of equally notable solar physicists based at NJIT and Big Bear Solar Observatory, CA. NJIT has managed the observatory since 1997. It is the former property of California Institute of Technology (Caltech).
Gary also directs the Owens Valley Solar Array Radio Telescope, located at Caltech’s Owens Valley Radio Observatory, and he is a visiting associate professor there. NJIT solar physicists are renowned for building the world’s best solar telescopes.