Here at JPL, phones are ringing off lots of different hooks with members of the public asking about viewing Mars tomorrow night.  I've even received calls from scout leaders planning "Mars Spectacular" viewing events.  I wish there was a scout badge for critical thinking.  :-(

Some of you folks may be getting questions too, so I thought you might like these sound bytes.

A misleading chain letter hoax has been going around since June 2005. The subject line of the chain letter is often 'Mars Spectacular". It's a recycled chain letter from 2003, but with the year omitted, and additional misinformation added.  The "date" of the special viewing night, according to this email is tomorrow, August 27th.  August 27th was the date of Mars Opposition 2003.  Some people read chain letters, and without applying any critical thinking, assume they must be true.  Then they forward them to everyone they know, who forward them.....on and on and on.

I created a Mars 2005 page  As Mars becomes visible earlier in the evening, we'll be planning more viewing events, and updating this page.

Mojo and I are off the to the Oregon Star Party tomorrow morning.  We'll be back after labor day, and our next sidewalk dates are September 9th Pasadena and September 10th Monrovia.

Jane Houston Jones
Senior Outreach Specialist, Cassini Program
JPL - 4800 Oak Grove Drive, MS 230-205
Pasadena, CA  91109  818-393-6435
Cassini Saturn Observation Campaign