The online Slooh Community Observatory will host a live webcast on Monday (May 30) to webcast live views of Mars, which will make its closest approach to Earth in 11 years, with the show beginning at 9 p.m. EDT (0100 GMT). Watch live here, courtesy of Slooh. You can go to Slooh.com to join and watch this live broadcast, snap and share your own photos during the event, chat with audience members and interact with the hosts, and personally control Slooh's telescopes. The webcast will also appear below, courtesy of Slooh. Preview: See Mars' Memorial Day Close-Up: Watch Live on Slooh Webcast
"Due to their respective orbits, Mars and Earth are locked in a dance that makes Mars' apparent size and brightness change dramatically over 26-months. Mars' distance from the Earth can vary between between 33.5 million and 249 million miles, meaning that its apparent size varies by sevenfold from Earth’s viewpoint. During the live show, Slooh Astronomers, Paul Cox and Bob Berman, will be on hand to take viewers on a live tour of the Red Planet, discussing everything from scientific study of the planet, to its cultural significance in antiquity through to sci-fi movies, and even the possibility that it may have once harbored life.
Mars at Opposition: See the Red Planet with Your Own Eyes This Weekend
"In addition to being one of our closest planetary neighbors, Mars is also top of the list for future human exploration, for government space agencies as well as private exploration groups like Mars One. During the broadcast, Nicole Willett, of the Mars Society will discuss the characteristics of Mars that make it a prime candidate for exploration, and possible settlement, and the challenges explorers face in taming the planet’s environment.
"The size of Mars varies more than any other planet, and we've waited a full decade for it to come this close and appear this large,” says Bob Berman. “Throw in the fact that it's the only other planet on which humans will ever walk and you can understand why everyone will be tuning in to this rare occasion."
"The pace of discovery at Mars is astonishing - hardly a week goes by without exciting news about the mysterious red planet that has captivated our imaginations like no other,” added Slooh Astronomer and host Paul Cox. “We're excited to be using our newest telescope at our flagship observatory at the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands. It's designed specifically to bring viewers outstanding live views of the planets and Moon."
"Viewers are encouraged to make themselves a part of the show by sending their questions to @Slooh on Twitter, or by joining in on the live chat on Slooh.com."