Upcoming Public Event Opportunities

Upcoming opportunities exist for public engagement around the broader topics of NASA planetary exploration.  Consider getting in touch with local astronomical societies, planetariums and museums, local scientists, and NASA’s Solar System Ambassadors (solarsystem.nasa.gov/ssa/directory.cfm) – ask them to join your events and share their experiences or resources with your audience. Tips for scientists in conducting public engagement are at www.lpi.usra.edu/education/scientist-engagement.

Mars InSight Launch, 05 May 2018

Mars InSight launchInSight is scheduled to launch on May 5 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The InSight mission seeks to uncover how a rocky body forms and evolves to become a planet by investigating the interior structure and composition of Mars. The mission will also determine the rate of Martian  tectonic activity and meteorite impacts. For more info, please visit  mars.nasa.gov/insight.


Oppositions Galore!

Planetary oppositions provide opportunities for great telescopic viewing. In 2018, the oppositions of   Mars, Jupiter and Saturn will make great telescopic targets for night owls:

      Jupiter at Opposition, 08 May 2018, at 3:00 a.m. Central Daylight Time


      Saturn at Opposition, 27 June 2018, shortly after midnight Central Daylight Time


      Mars at Opposition, 27 July 2018, 10:00 p.m. Central Daylight Time


Perseid Meteor Shower, 12-13 August 2018

The 2018 Perseid meteor shower will peak the night of August 12/13. The Perseids meteors are made up of pieces from comet Swift-Tuttle and appear to originate from the constellation Perseus, hence their name. Learn more about the Perseids at https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/small-bodies/meteors-and-    meteorites/perseids/in-depth/

OSIRIS-REx Begins Approach Phase to Asteroid Bennu, 17 August 2018

OSIRIS-REx will see Bennu for the first time from a distance of approximately two million kilometers and Science Operations will officially begin. Learn more at  https://www.asteroidmission.org.

Spotlight on Education highlights events and programs that provide opportunities for planetary scientists to become involved in education and public engagement. If you know of space science educational programs or events that should be included, please contact the Lunar and Planetary Institute's Education Department at [email protected].