November 2012 Science Under the Dome


Friday, November 2nd at 7:00 PM Professor Claude Pruneau, WSU Physicist and Director of the WSU Planetarium presented: 


A New Step in Spatial Exploration: The MSL and Curiosity Rover Mission 



Ever since Percival Lowell published his observations of canals on the surface of Mars, people have been fascinated with the red planet. Mars is by far the most explored of all the planets in our solar system - excluding Earth, of course. 

The Mars exploration program has taken a new amazing turn with the Curiosity Mission. Curiosity is a rover the size of a small jeep. It landed with a bang on Aug 6, 2012. Fully deployed and operational, Curiosity is now roving the Gale crater and investigating the Martian soil for traces of complex molecules that might signal the past existence of life on the planet. 
I will present a summary of the Mars exploration program to date and discuss some of the latest findings.

Above images: One of Curiosity's views of Mars and an image of the Mars rover - Curiosity - compliments of


The Wayne State Planetarium is dedicated to the promotion of science. We are proud to feature a new series of free public lectures covering modern topics in science.