How to Watch Tonight's "Curiosity" Rover Landing
NASA's latest and greatest Mars rover, known as Curiosity, will attempt to land on Mars early Monday morning (or late Sunday night, depending on where you are on Earth). The landing is scheduled for 05:31 (UTC), which is Monday morning at 1:31am Eastern in the US, or 10:31pm Pacific time Sunday night. Because Mars is quite far from us, there will be a 14-minute delay before transmissions related to the landing will reach us -- which will make the viewing party that much more of a nail-biter.
Prep for Landing
Several Star Trek alums have made videos for NASA explaining Curiosity's journey and planned landing. Because they're reading from the same script, it's fun to compare their dramatic readings. Here's one from Wil Wheaton:
And William Shatner:
You can find all kinds of launch info (including a countdown ticker and a way to find and join "Landing Parties") on GetCurious.com. If you can't make it to an in-person social event, a "Virtual Landing Party" by means of a Google+ Hangout will be hosted by Fraser Cain of Universe Today, featuring appearances by "Bad Astronomer" Phil Plait, reporters at the Jet Propulsion Lab, and perhaps you!
The good geeks at io9 have an excellent roundup of viewing opportunities, noting the Times Square screen in New York City, Planetfest in Pasadena (with Bill Nye!), and of course NASA TV, among others.
Where Will You Be?
Share your plans for the landing in the comments. If you have a Curiosity-related place to be, let us know!