KOKOMO, Ind. — Learn more about the discoveries made by NASA’s rover Opportunity at the Indiana University Kokomo Observatory’s free monthly open house Sunday, March 10.
Patrick Motl, associate professor of physics, will open the session at 8 p.m. by providing a retrospective of the Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity, which landed on Mars in January 2004, and lived well beyond their planned 90-day missions.
Spirit concluded its mission in 2010, while Opportunity, nicknamed “Oppy,” last communicated with earth on June 10, 2018. NASA officially declared its mission complete in February.
Among other findings, the rovers found evidence that long ago, Mars was wetter, and conditions on the planet could have sustained microbial life, if any existed.
Immediately following the presentation, those attending will be able to view Mars, along with a crescent moon and winter highlights included the Crab nebula, and the Orion nebula, until 10 p.m., through the Observatory’s two telescopes, a six-inch Takahashi refracting telescope and a 16-inch Meade reflecting telescope mounted together.
The Takahashi provides exceptionally sharp images of planets, while the Meade allows viewers to see fainter objects in the sky, due to its larger light-collecting area.
The open house is free and open to the public, at the Observatory, 2660 Washington Street. Free parking is available on campus.
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.