Worth the drive: Free program explores 'Mars: The Red Planet' July 13


Special to The Dispatch



Rainwater Observatory in French Camp offers a free public program Friday, July 13 called "Mars: The Red Planet!" The 7 p.m. presentation will be given by Edwin Faughn, director of Rainwater Observatory. It is sponsored by 4-County Electric Power Association. 


"Mars: The Red Planet!" explores one of the most mystifying and fascinating planets in the solar system, said Faughn. It has captivated people for centuries and is filled with mythology, science fiction, history and a wealth of scientific discovery. This new program is visually intensive and will take the audience on a journey through a strange and alluring world and reveal some of the most breathtaking imagery and astounding discoveries recorded in human history, the director continued.  


Mars will be making its closest approach to Earth since 2003 on July 27 during "opposition" -- when it's opposite from the sun in Earth's sky. 


Faughn is also an artist and lecturer specializing in space sciences and has presented programs to diverse audiences including universities, museums, schools, churches, civic groups, scouts and various other organizations.  


His original artwork has been featured in and on the covers of international space science magazines, exhibitions and planetarium productions. A few of his credits include Scientific American, Federal Express World Headquarters and the world premiere of Titanic: The Exhibition. He also served nearly 20 years as the art director for the Sharpe Planetarium of the Pink Palace Family of Museums in Memphis, Tennessee. His work has also been featured on the main KEPLER website of NASA's Ames Research Center. View his artwork and other information at edwinfaughn.com. 




Observe the skies 


After the presentation, weather permitting, an observing session will be held using some of Rainwater's collection of powerful telescopes. The planetarium can be used if the outdoor observing is clouded out.  


Rainwater Observatory and Planetarium is located 1 mile east of the Natchez Trace Parkway off Mississippi Highway 413 near the village of French Camp in Choctaw County. It is about an hour's drive from Columbus; less from Starkville. 


Faughn urges visitors to arrive early and enjoy Steak Night at the Council House Cafe, another support ministry of French Camp Academy. 


For more information on these and other programs visit Rainwater Observatory at rainwaterobservatory.org, call 662-547-7283 or email [email protected]



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