NASA's InSight Mars Lander has been steadily approaching Mars for three of Earth's seasons. The spacecraft launched from California during the North American springtime, on May 5, and it is still journeying toward our neighboring planet. But the long haul finishes Monday (Nov. 26), when InSight will finally land on the flat plains of Elysium Planitia near Mars' equator.
Museums, libraries, college campuses and even public spaces like Times Square in New York City will be airing InSight's landing, set to occur at about 3 p.m. ET (12 p.m. PT) on Nov. 26. NASA has provided an extensive list of viewing locations, available here. Space.com will also broadcast the landing here, courtesy of NASA TV. [NASA's InSight Mars Lander: Full Coverage]
Or you could watch from Mars. (The planet humorously sits on the top slot of NASA's event-viewing list.)
InSight will be a stationary probe. It's equipped with instruments that can measure subsurface movements and heat flow to help scientists learn about Mars' interior over the course of a two-year mission. InSight will be NASA's first Mars landing since the Curiosity rover in 2012.
Colleges and universities are hosting public viewing parties. The California Institute of Technology's event will feature guests from the nonprofit space-interest group The Planetary Society. The University of Alaska Fairbanks' event will be held in their Vis Space visualization environment and will include a round of Mars trivia.
Major viewing events at museums include "Countdown to InSight" at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia; a "NASA Mars Insight Landing Livestream" at The Museum of Flight in Seattle ; a 6-hour pop-up Landing Event at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago; an "InSight Lands on Mars" simulation at the American Museum of Natural History in New York; and many more.
Libraries across the country will also host events. Nebraska's Wilson Public Library, North Dakota's Grand Forks Public Library, California's San Gabriel Library and Massachusetts' Brockton Public Library, to name just a handful, are having InSight landing gatherings.
People in Germany and France can attend viewing events, as well. The Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Göttingen, Germany, will host a "Quick Guide to a Landing on Mars" lecture, for example. And one of the several events hosted in France includes an evening program, featuring two scientists, at the City of Science and Industry in Paris.