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Columbia Seminary is site of Mars exhibit in Metro Atlanta Solar System project


Decatur, GA. Columbia Theological Seminary is the site of the Mars exhibit in the Metro Atlanta Solar System (MASS) project, a scale model (1:150,000,000) of the solar system. Designed to give viewers a perspective of the planets’ relative proximity to each other and the Sun, the project was created by Chris De Pree, a professor of astronomy and director of the Bradley Observatory at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, GA. The exhibits, located across metro Atlanta, are open to the public this month, with an opening event on September 11 at 8 p.m. at Agnes Scott’s observatory and planetarium.   

The Sun is located at the college’s observatory and planetarium, and Mercury is less than a quarter of a mile away at the college’s campus center. Venus is located in the science wing of Decatur High School, just under a half a mile from Agnes Scott’s Sun.

Earth is just over a half a mile away at the Decatur Public Library. Mars is slightly less than a mile away, installed on the Columbia campus outside the lower level of the Harrington Center near the library. Jupiter and Saturn, housed respectively at Emory University and the Georgia Institute of Technology, rest at about 3 miles and 6 miles from the Sun. 

Uranus is located at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, almost 12 miles from the Sun. Neptune, at Sweetwater Creek State Park in Lithia Springs, is approximately 18 and a half miles away.De Pree, who is the co-author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Astronomy, recently taught the course Science, Religion, and the End of the World with Mark Douglas, associate professor of Christian ethics at Columbia. The course was offered jointly by the seminary and Agnes Scott College. 

Columbia Theological Seminary, located in Decatur, Georgia, was established in 1828 and is one of 10 theological institutions of the Presbyterian Church (USA).

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