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News Release


UAlbany Hosts Aug. 27 Viewing of Mars

Contact: Karl Luntta (518) 437-4980

ALBANY, N.Y. (August 19, 2003) -- The University at Albany's Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, in cooperation with the Dudley Observatory, invites the public to observe the planet Mars, Wednesday, Aug. 27, 8:30-11 p.m., when the "red planet" will be nearer to Earth than it has been in 60,000 years. The public will view the planet through the Astronomical Observatory on the roof of the Earth Science Building. Experts from the University at Albany, the Dudley Observatory and Schenectady Museum Planetarium will discuss the planet's movements, topography and origins, and will offer exhibits, including a small Martian meteorite.

Mars will lie some 34.6 million miles from Earth on Aug. 27. Just six months ago the planet's elliptical orbit had it nearly five times farther away. For the next several weeks, Mars will be one of the brightest spots in the southern sky, and its proximity is giving amateur astronomers and academics the views of a lifetime. The next time the red planet will loom this close -- and large -- will be in 2287.

The event is free of charge. Parking is available at the University's State Quad lot on the northeast side of the Washington Avenue campus.

Established in 1844 and designated a center of the State University of New York in 1962, the University at Albany's broad mission of excellence in undergraduate and graduate education, research and public service engages 17,000 diverse students in eight degree-granting schools and colleges. The University is engaged in a $500 million fundraising campaign, the most ambitious in its history, with the goal of placing it among the nation's top 30 public research universities by the end of the decade. For more information about this nationally ranked University, visit

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