New planetarium show explores search for water on Mars

Released on 02/15/2007, at 2:00 AM
Office of University Communications
University of Nebraska–Lincoln

WHEN: Sunday, Feb. 25, 2007, through May. 31, 2007

WHERE: Mueller Planetarium, University of Nebraska State Museum (Morrill Hall), 14th and U Streets

Lincoln, Neb., February 15th, 2007 —

The two Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, have spent more than three years on the surface of Mars. Together with other robotic spacecraft and ground-based observations, they are helping scientists piece together the story of water on Mars.

"Mars: The Search for Water," a new planetarium show opening Feb. 24 at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Ralph Mueller Planetarium, explores the results to date of the search for water on the red planet.

"Mars has always been a planet of mystery, and yet it seems to draw humanity's interest more than any other place in the solar system," said Planetarium coordinator Jack Dunn, who produced the show. "From backyard observations to the huge interest in our robots driving around the surface, Mars inspires our thoughts of one day visiting this place in person."

The program lasts approximately 30 minutes and includes comments by James Rice Jr. of Arizona State University, a member of the Mars Exploration Rovers science team, and an introduction to the current night sky.

"Mars: The Search For Water" will open with an expanded schedule Feb. 24 in conjunction with "Dinosaurs and Disasters," the University of Nebraska State Museum family fun day. There will be showings that day at 11 a.m., noon, and 1, 2, 3 and 4 p.m. Special admission Feb. 24 only will be $2 per person in addition to the usual museum admission of $5 for adults, $3 for children and $10 for families. Also on Feb. 24 only, tickets will be sold in the planetarium lobby.

Starting Feb. 25, "Mars: The Search For Water" will follow the regular planetarium show schedule with presentations at 2 and 3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Admission beginning Feb. 25 will be $7 for adults and $5 for children. This admission includes admission to the University of Nebraska State Museum. The show will run through May 31 (schedule subject to change).

CONTACT: Jack Dunn, Coordinator, Mueller Planetarium, (402) 472-2641