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MARS 2003 To Be AOAS' Biggest Public Event Since 1986

Lunar & Planetary
Check out our new MARS 2003 T-Shirt...
Many of our members remember our big Halley's Comet Watches hosted by AOAS in 1985 and 1986. Our event at Vasche Grasse Park near Lavaca, AR in January of '86 was our largest to date with an estimated 3,500 to 4,000 people attending. Later that year, our Ben Geren Park Comet Watch netted us another estimated 2,000 to 2,500 attendees.

... or how about our regular club T-Shirt!
Lots of things have happened since those days. We've moved to a new and MUCH closer observing location north of Van Buren, but through all the ups and downs, we've maintained a steady focus on education and increasing public awareness about astronomy.

This August 23 will be our next and potentially biggest EVER public event for the closest approach of Mars in nearly 60,000 years! AOAS is working closely with the Ft Smith Art Center downtown to host the event, which coincides with the culmination of our jointly sponsored "Space Art Contest"

Mike Richardson, Programs Director for the Art Center, is coordinating the event with several area groups, businesses and local media, and has gotten the interest and support of the City of Ft Smith. Booths will be set up around the Art Center grounds with food and beverages for sale, as well as an AOAS Education Station in the gazebo at the Center where we'll post pictures and information about the planet Mars. We'll also have a booth set up in the gazebo where
Either T-Shirt is available for $10 for AOAS Members or $12 for Non-Members. Contact us for more information.
we'll take memberships and sell our world famous AOAS club logo t-shirts, and our new MARS 2003 t-shirts. Several items have been donated by area businesses as drawing give-aways to everyone who makes a minimum $2 donation, with the winners being announced by radio station KISR 93.7 through a live remote broadcast. All the while, AOAS members will be set up at various locations on the Art Center grounds giving telescopic views of Mars!


Meanwhile, inside the Art Center itself at 423 N. 6th Street, the submissions of the Space Art Contest will be judged and prizes awarded to the contest winners. Among the judges will be meteorologist Garrett Lewis from television station KFSM TV-5.

Plans are being made to have at least one guest speaker and probably more by event time. A scientist from NASA has agreed to attend and give multiple lectures about what we know about Mars through martian meteorites which have been found on Earth. He will also bring some actual samples of moon rocks with him!! Two other scientists are currently being courted by our education director, Dr. Chuck Larson, Ed. D.

I invite you to look for articles from Mike Richardson and Dr. Larson for complete information on their respective contributions for MARS 2003.This will surely be the biggest and best chance for public outreach by AOAS in nearly 20 years. EVERYONE is invited to come join us at the Ft Smith Art Center at 423 N. 6th Street downtown on Saturday evening, August 23 beginning around 7 PM and running very late into the evening.

You won't have a better chance to see Mars this close until 2287 AD!
MARS 2003 To Be AOAS' Biggest Public Event Since 1986 | 1 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
MARS 2003 To Be AOAS\' Biggest Public Event Since 1986
Authored by: R Parks onFriday, August 22 2003 @ 10:24 am EDT
It looks like we will have good weather for this event. I hope to see you there!

R Parks
Alma, AR

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