fernbank

Czarek Sokolowski / AP

Mercury will visibly move across the sun this upcoming Veterans Day, the last event of its kind until May 7, 2049, making it a last-in-a-lifetime opportunity for some Georgia residents.

Sam Whitehead / GPB News

On a recent Sunday morning just after dawn in a lush backyard in Atlanta, Clay Graham stood silent, all eyes and ears.

“Ok, so that’s a Carolina wren calling about ten meters out,” he said. “A cardinal just chipped maybe 20 to 30 meters away.”

In the soft light, he scribbled down the names and positions of the birds he observed. If he could see or hear them, he could catch them.

NASA

The first Mars astronaut has probably already been born, even if it wasn’t that long ago. He or she could be in Atlanta at one of Fernbank Museum’s planetarium shows.

It could be 17-year-old Kristen Baker, who will be attending Georgia State University in 2017 to study astronomy. It could be 9-year-old Everett Glover who wants to be the first person to take selfies on Mars.

Regardless, both were in attendance at the Fernbank Planetarium’s “From Earth to the Universe” show, along with scores of other families. The interest in space exploration isn’t dying down any time soon.