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White House Hosts 300 Students, Ahmed Mohamed, Bill Nye for ‘Astronomy Night’

When news broke last month that a 14-year-old teenager was arrested in connection with a home-made clock mistaken for a bomb, President Barack Obama wasted no time in inviting Ahmed Mohamed to the White House. While not everybody was thrilled at the public invitation via Twitter, the President made good on his promise, hosting Mohamed and 300 other students for the White House’s second “Astronomy Night” on Monday.

With Bill Nye the Science Guy mingling through the crowd, and 11 NASA astronauts inspiring awe in the students with handshakes and stories, the night was aimed at appreciation for the United States’ role in space exploration.

“I love Astronomy Night!,” began the President’s remarks. “NASA found water flowing on Mars. Earlier this year we mapped Pluto in high resolution. In recent years we discovered the first Earth-sized planet orbiting a star in a distant galaxy. And we’ve even slipped the outmost grasp of our solar system with Voyager I.”

When asked about the likelihood of Mohamed meeting President Obama in person, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest did not fully rest on a response Monday afternoon. Earnest told reporters, “After all, there are several hundred people who are planning to participate in tonight’s festivities on the South Lawn”. However, cameras captured the brief meeting between the two, though Mohamed did not bring his clock with him.

The President told the gathered crowd, “And today, NASA is developing the capabilities to send humans to Mars in the 2030’s.” While getting a brief lesson in using a telescope from a high school senior in the crowd, the President jokingly asked, “Does it matter which eye?”.

Check out the above video from AP.

h/t USA Today

[image via screengrab]

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