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Mars at its Brightest, Pomona College Offers Community Viewing Through Observatory Telescopes

On August 27 and 28, Mars will be brighter than at any time in more than 59,000 years, due to its close approach to Earth. To celebrate, Pomona College will hold a Mars Viewing Party both Wednesday, August 27, and Thursday, August 28, at the Brackett Observatory (400 N. Amherst Avenue, Claremont), from 9:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. The event is open to the community.

According to Bryan Penprase, associate professor of physics and astronomy, "The view will be spectacular. This should be the best chance to see Mars in our lifetimes!" During the viewing, Professor Penprase will have two 14" telescopes aimed at Mars and will be videotaping the planet's surface. "With these telescopes and the close approach, we should be able to see the polar caps and other surface features. What you usually see is just a fuzzy red ball."

To get to the Brackett Observatory, head east on Bonita from Indian Hill, turn left at the Seaver Theatre complex, then park along the theatre's north side. The observatory will be to the east. A campus map can be found on Pomona's Website at

For further information, call (909) 621-8727 or (909) 621-8724, or by email at