Skip to comments.Red Planet Day – November 28, 2023 🔴
Posted on 11/28/2023 1:58:03 PM PST by Ezekiel
Red Planet Day, November 28, recognizes the planet which has captivated human observers for countless years, Mars. Right now, we know that Mars is red thanks to photographs beamed back to Earth from American rovers.
For centuries, the naked human eye has been able to detect the reddish tinge of the solar system’s fourth planet, glimmering in the night sky. Little did scientists know, the red on Mars’ surface came from a preponderance of iron oxide, common rust. On Red Planet Day we celebrate our fascination with Mars, along with all the scientific advancements into understanding the dusty planet.
HISTORY OF RED PLANET DAY Around 400 BC, the Babylonian’s began keeping record of celestial events. They called Mars “Nergal,” The King of Conflicts, ostensibly because of the association between the planet’s color and the blood spilled during armed encounters with enemies. The ancient Greeks and Romans must have made the association as well, because in both their pantheons, Ares and Mars, respectively, were known as the gods of war.
As time went on and it became a possibility that man might one day travel among the stars, authors and filmmakers availed themselves of the sense of wonder surrounding the Red Planet and created works of science fiction and just plain fancy, imagining walking on that rusty ground.
One big question was whether Mars held good old fashioned water, the source of any life on a planet. Flyby missions detected polar ice caps. Ancient “canals” were shown to be an optical illusion, but that didn’t stop many believers from presuming that there had previously been civilizations on the fourth planet from the sun.
It still stands to reason that imaginations have blossomed around the notion of life on Mars, from the classic novel “Stranger In a Strange Land” by 1950’s author Robert Heinlein, to 2015’s Ridley Scott film starring Matt Damon, “The Martian.”
During this century, orbiter missions and rover missions sent back more and more detailed information about Mars, until NASA and its international counterparts began to plan manned missions to Mars. Now, National Red Planet Day commemorates the launch of the Mariner 4 spacecraft on November 28, 1964. Mariner 4 performed the first successful flyby of the planet Mars returning the first pictures of the Martian surface.
RED PLANET DAY TIMELINE, FAQs...
Mars Needs Women
Odyssey's THEMIS Views the Horizon of Mars: This unusual view of the horizon of Mars was captured by
NASA’s Odyssey orbiter using its THEMIS camera, in an operation that took engineers three months to plan.
It’s taken from about 250 miles above the Martian surface – about the same altitude at which the
International Space Station orbits Earth. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU.
NEWS | November 28, 2023
NASA Orbiter Snaps Stunning Views of Mars Horizon
I saw that movie.
Percival Lowell - enjoyed reading his fanciful speculations regarding Mars. Laid foundations for many science fiction novels.
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