Simon Singh Lecture & Mars Viewing

Date: Friday,
November 11, 2005
Simon Singh

8:00 PM
White Hall, Room 208
First-come first-served seating
Doors open at 7:30
(Adults, college students
& mature teens)
Planetarium, E300
Mathematics & Science Center
400 Dowman Drive

Invitation from Dr. Richard Williamon,
Director of the Emory Planetarium and Observatory

Big Bang Indeed!
This November 11th we have two very special events planned for members of the Emory community, family and friends. The evening begins begins with a lecture by internationally-known science writer and New York Times best-seller author, Simon Singh, and culminates later that evening with a planetarium / observatory open house to view the planet Mars.

Dr. Singh’s talk is based on his latest book, Big Bang--a history of cosmology. Known to fans worldwide for his previous books, Fermat’s Last Theorem (Fermat’s Enigma in the U.S.) and The Code Book, and for his BBC radio and TV programs, Dr. Singh is one of the most approachable and entertaining physicists around. His talk will be followed by a book signing—where you can purchase, at a small discount, Big Bang if you don’t already own a copy.

The lecture and book signing are in White Hall 208—just across the street from the Math and Science Center. The lecture is free, but please come early to get a seat. Doors open at 7:30; the lecture starts promptly at 8:00 PM. Following the lecture, and weather permitting, we hope you’ll join us for a planetarium/observatory open house and some MARS gazing starting at 9:00PM.

Please Note:
While Simon Singh’s lecture is most appropriate for adults, college students and mature teens, members of the Emory Community are welcome to bring younger children to the MARS Open House. Please read on for details….


Mars - 08/19/03
Photo: H.Dale and C.Donofrio

With the clear mornings of recent weeks, many have noted the brilliant orange (peach) dot that has been steadily brightening high in the pre-dawn sky. Of course the dot is Mars, and it's going to get even brighter between now and the end of October simply because we're drawing closer. 

Indeed, Mars will be extraordinarily well positioned for viewing during the last week of October through about the the middle of November.

Those who came by during the historically close Mars apparition of 2003 will be pleasantly surprised at how well the current view of Mars compares. It was a bit closer in 2003, but much lower in the sky.  This 2005 close passage will feature a planet almost twice as high above the horizon as in 2003, meaning we will look through much less atmosphere for our views.  And, you’ll have to wait until 2018 to see Mars this close again.

This event is FREE. And, the Emory Astronomy Club will have delicious cakes, cookies and beverages on sale for your snacking pleasure. Members of the Department of Physics will be on hand to answer your questions and help you look through our telescopes on the observation deck. Just come by any time between 9:00-11:30 PM and stay as long as you like. (Please note—as always, viewing is weather dependent.)

Please be sure to visit Simon Singh’s own Web site:

We look forward to seeing you on the evening of the 11th!

If you would like to join our Astronomy Events E-Mail List click here.

For information on the Emory Astronomy Club, please contact Dr. Richard Williamon at