Special Events

Special Events

Planetarium Special Events

MarsMars Opposition, July 31, 8:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.

Mars will reach opposition - meaning it is positioned directly opposite the Sun in our sky - this summer, making it brighter than it has been in years. For a period of about two months, Mars will supplant Jupiter as the fourth brightest celestial body, after the Sun, Moon and Venus. Mars’ reign as the fourth-brightest celestial body will last from about July 7 to September 7.

We are planning a special observatory open house to view this spectacle that occurs every 2 years and 50 days. The evening’s activities include two brief (and free) shows in the Edelman Planetarium, a guest speaker, hands-on activities and observations of the night sky (weather permitting). 

The evening’s events will begin at 8:00 p.m. and end at 11:00 p.m. Two free planetarium shows will be presented at 8:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. in the Edelman Planetarium. Hands-on demonstrations about the planets will be available in the Science Hall atrium throughout the event. At 9:00 p.m. join us in the planetarium for a special presentation about Mars by Rowan University Physics and Astronomy Department chair and resident Mars expert, David Klassen.

The observing session will begin at 9:00 p.m. on the rooftop of Science Hall. Telescopes will be set up on the rooftop observation deck, which is accessible via the west elevator. The 0.4-m research telescope will also be open for viewing. 

Faculty and members of the student-run Astronomy Club will be present to operate the telescopes and assist in helping you enjoy the experience. The planets Mars, Jupiter and Saturn will be visible all night along with the double star Albireo and much more.

This rain or shine event is free and open to the public. In the event of bad weather, the observing session will be cancelled but all other events will continue as scheduled.