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Carnegie Science Center readies for Mars close-up

Mary Pickels
| Monday, July 23, 2018, 10:54 a.m.
Visitors to the Carnegie Science Center for the July 27 SkyWatch may see a closer view of Mars to earth than has been seen in 15 years.
Visitors to the Carnegie Science Center for the July 27 SkyWatch may see a closer view of Mars to earth than has been seen in 15 years.

The red planet is expected to appear larger and brighter than usual on Friday, and visitors can watch Mars take its close-up at the Carnegie Science Center’s SkyWatch program.

The July 27 event at the science center’s Buhl Planetarium and Observatory will give stargazers a chance to view Mars through professional grade telescopes, according to a news release.

“When Mars is in opposition, the red planet and the sun appear on opposite sides of the earth,” program coordinator Ralph Crewe says in the release.

“Mars will be closer to the earth than it’s been since 2003. At the science center, we have an astonishing, one-of-a-kind view from our outdoor observatory and telescopes capable of seeing finer detail than any consumer grade instrument,” Crewe adds.

Visitors will be able to talk with planetarium staff to learn more about the planet named for Mars, the god of war in Roman mythology. Mars’ two moons, Phobos and Deimos, respectively stand for “fear” and “dread,” according to the release.

SkyWatch kicks off with a virtual tour of the night sky, followed by additional planetarium programs. If skies are clear, participants can head to the observatory and star gaze through various telescopes, as well as chat with the team of expert stargazers.

Tickets for the 8 and 10 p.m. program are $4.

Those who bring their own fully assembled telescopes to share with others may attend at no cost.

The event is held rain or shine.

Details: 412-237-1641 or

Mary Pickels is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary at 724-836-5401, or via Twitter @MaryPickels.

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