Mars Day @ York

Ever since Galileo first observed Mars through a telescope in 1610, the red planet has captured the imagination of mankind for centuries. Considered to be the most likely of all the planets in the solar system to be able to support life, this fourth planet from the sun has spawned images of martians, and scores of science fiction books and movies. Those images and tales have been replaced with photographs of barren landscapes, rising mountain ranges and a pink tinged sky from the Mars Rover missions and while these images are desolate Mars continues to be a source of fascination.

Left: The official logo for the Phoenix mission to Mars (poster courtesy of Mars Day @ York)

On Tuesday, Feb. 17, from 9:30am to 3pm, York University’s Faculty of Pure & Applied Science will host Mars Day @ York. Over 200 high-school students from several schools in the Greater Toronto Area will visit York’s Keele campus for a day featuring an impressive line-up of guest speakers and presentations. They will get information on the Phoenix mission to Mars and the most recent data from the Mars Exploration Rover and Mars Express missions.

This day-long event includes:

  • Canadian Space Agency overview of Canada’s present activities and future plans for the exploration of Mars;
  • Details of the Phoenix mission to Mars;
  • Recent data from the NASA Rovers and Mars Express missions;
  • Presentations highlighting the main scientific and technical challenges associated with Mars exploration;
  • Opportunities to meet the scientists and engineers of the Mars programs and to have discussions with research students working on Mars activities;
  • Several speakers, including Bob McDonald, CBC Radio host of “Quirks & Quarks”; Alain Ouellet, program manager Planetary Exploration, Canadian Space Agency; and Allan Carswell and Diane Michelangeli, York professors and members of the Phoenix team will talk about the facts and fiction associated with past, present and future Mars missions.

The event is open to the York community and will be held in the Computer Science & Engineering Building, Hall A. There is no cost to attend, but registration would be appreciated. For the agenda, other information, or to register please contact or ext. 55151.