The Mars Thread

I know this belongs in a SCIENCE FORUM but OPEN will have to do.

Apparently there is some global warming going on on Mars.

[quote]New gullies that did not exist in mid-2002 have appeared on a Martian sand dune.

That’s just one of the surprising discoveries that have resulted from the extended life of NASA’s Mars Global Surveyor, which this month began its ninth year in orbit around Mars. Boulders tumbling down a Martian slope left tracks that weren’t there two years ago. New impact craters formed since the 1970s suggest changes to age-estimating models. And for three Mars summers in a row, deposits of frozen carbon dioxide near Mars’ south pole have shrunk from the previous year’s size, suggesting a climate change in progress.

“Our prime mission ended in early 2001, but many of the most important findings have come since then, and even bigger ones might lie ahead,” said Tom Thorpe, project manager for Mars Global Surveyor at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. The orbiter is healthy and may be able to continue studying Mars for five to 10 more years, he said.

Mars years are nearly twice as long as Earth years. The orbiter’s longevity has enabled monitoring of year-to-year patterns on Mars, such as seasonal dust storms and changes in the polar caps. “Mars is an active planet, and over a range of timescales changes occur, even in the surface,” said Dr. Michael Malin of Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego, principal investigator for the Mars Orbiter Camera on Mars Global Surveyor. [/quote]

That’s some cool stuff there.

If Mars years are twice as long as earth years…

Does that mean that we’d live twice as long? :idunno:

Sorry :blush:
Not funny

[quote=“Bassman”]If Mars years are twice as long as earth years…

Does that mean that we’d live twice as long? :idunno:

I would think that if people colonized Mars, we’d just keep the calendar we now have and change the lunar phases.

How long is a Martian day?

Just found this:

[quote]Calendars on Earth have long been an indispensable part of everyday life. They indicate when to expect a change in seasons; they suggest to the farmer when to plow and plant; they tell priests when it’s time to prepare for fasts or festivals; they help everyone plan for the future.
Some of those reasons for the need of calendars on Earth are critical to the purposes of mankind on Mars. Seasonal changes on the red planet are much more severe than on Earth. By comparing Gregorian and Martian Calendars, explorers and settlers can celebrate special days, whether civil or ceremonial, at the same time as they are being observed on the home planet. Planning for the future is extremely critical for Martian endeavors in order to ensure that needed provisions will be on hand in a timely manner.

    Because features of the Martian Calendar match those of the Gregorian, it is easy to compare time intervals between the two planets. One way this similarity has been provided is that we use the same words for generic units of Martian time measurement as we do for comparable earthly periods. We speak of a Martian year, quarter, month, week and day rather than using terminology that is unique to Mars. Also, days on both planets are divided into hours, minutes and seconds. Many of these time periods are further divided into the same number of parts on both Earth and Mars. Their actual lengths, of course, are not identical. 
 Another aid to understanding correspondence between the two calendars is because they are formed with the same structure. A red planet day is very close in length to Earth's day. Therefore, the seven-day Mars week is very close in length to a terrestrial week. But both the beginning and extent of these short-term periods is different because the two planet's natural days are not synchronized. 
 One of the Gregorian Calendar's most rational features is its division of the year into twelve months. Because the number of months totals twelve, a Gregorian year can be divided into two halves of six months and/or four quarters of three months each for planning purposes. 
 A natural year on Mars is almost twice the length of one on Earth. Therefore, a twelve-month Martian calendar would have resulted in month lengths of almost twice as many days as calendars have on Earth. This would have made comparisons between terrestrial and Martian months misleading at best. 
 An easy resolution of this problem resulted from assigning 24 months to the Martian calendar, giving them lengths of mostly 28 days

A renaming of the tech section as “Science and Technology” forum seems like a natural to me.

A Day on Mars:

[quote]A Day on Mars
Last week we talked about the three missions that will shortly be headed for Mars. We’ve already seen images from the Martian surface, showing a pinkish sky and dry rocky ground. But what would it be like to spend an entire day on this fascinating world?

The first thing you might think about is how long is a day on Mars as compared to Earth? A day on Mars is about forty minutes longer than our day, so that would seem easy to adjust to, but how would we coordinate time with mission control on Earth? NASA has already given some thought to that and came up with a few ideas. One idea was to stretch the Martian day a bit, making an hour last sixty-two minutes, which would then make both an Earth day and a Mars day the same length.

As our Mars morning begins, the Sun colours the sky in shades of mauve and violet. A few wispy clouds might drift overhead but these would quickly dissipate as the Sun rose above the Martian horizon and began to climb into the sky. Before the Sun rose too high, we could look around and see thin layers of carbon dioxide ice lay like frosting over boulders. And everywhere, as far as one can see is the fine red sand of Mars.

As dawn breaks and we look out over the landscape and sky of the red planet, we see things which look alien and yet somehow at the same time, it looks familiar. Sunrise and sunset on Mars will look colourfully spectacular, much more so than their counterparts on Earth. This is because Mars has such a thin atmosphere. What looks so alien is that so much dust in the atmosphere causes Mars to have an “atmospheric opposite” of Earth. What we mean by this is that during sunrise and sunset, Mars sky looks very bluish. During the day, Martian skies are pink, with only a small ring of blue directly around the Sun.

There isn’t really much for weather on Mars, the atmosphere is too thin for rain to fall even if there was enough moisture. Monstrous dust storms ravage the surface on Mars stirred up by strong winds. Lesser winds stir up Martian “dust devils” which twist and roam across the barren, lonely, landscape. It is always cold on Mars. During the Martian summer, there are days when the temperature climbs to just below freezing, but during the nights the temperature plummets to far below zero.

Earth has one moon, but Mars has two moons which grace its skies. These moons, Deimos and Phobos fly across the sky in only a few hours. They are both very small and even from Mars they look like just another bright star at first glance.

The constellations look the same as they do from Earth. They change with the seasons but they look the same. We can find Orion and the Big Dipper and even the north star. But there is one thing that Martian visitors will see that they could not see from Earth.

Mars has a different morning/evening “star” than Earth’s Venus. This Martian “star” would be bright enough to cast shadows. We could not fail to miss it, shining like a blue white jewel in the Martian sky. And we might feel as if we were very far from home as we gazed at planet Earth. [/quote]

I wanna go. I can still post right??

Lots of Mars information, predictions and a good story in Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars trilogy, Red Mars, Green Mars and Blue Mars. I highly recommend reading at least the first two.

So do Mars bars REALLY come from Mars? I’ve always wanted to know.

[quote=“irishstu”]So do Mars bars REALLY come from Mars? I’ve always wanted to know.[/quote]No, They are named after Forrest Mars, who is also the first ‘M’ in M&Ms

As for the calendar on Mars, why do you think they have stardates ? :unamused:

How about Mallomars? Can we have a Mallomars forum?

What are Mallomars? Are they related to the Moomins? Cos I believe the Moomins come from Mars.

Here’s a picture of Earth taken by the Spirit rover on the surface of Mars, it looks rubbish

[quote=“Big Fluffy Matthew”]Here’s a picture of Earth taken by the Spirit rover on the surface of Mars, it looks rubbish[/quote]

Bloody hell. Now that’s what I call far away. Of course, you stupidly half-expect the image to look something like the view from the moon, don’t you? Then you realise just how far away Mars is.

They think they’ve found that British lander that crashed at Christmas 2 years ago:

Looks like a rock to me. I bet it turns out to be a rock, like last time they thought they found a crashed probe.

[quote=“Big Fluffy Matthew”]They think they’ve found that British lander that crashed at Christmas 2 years ago:

Looks like a rock to me. I bet it turns out to be a rock, like last time they thought they found a crashed probe.[/quote]

Looks like a glowing eye on the left side of a long nose. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

It looks to me like that guy from Clockwork Orange. :wink:

Looks like two iguanas doin the nasty. :idunno:

[quote=“Big Fluffy Matthew”]They think they’ve found that British lander that crashed at Christmas 2 years ago:

Looks like a rock to me. I bet it turns out to be a rock, like last time they thought they found a crashed probe.[/quote]

Look, I’ve said something like this before, but there were a lot of skeptics around then and I expect the same now. But just take a look at the photo below and tell me there isn’t an uncanny similarity:

There’s a lot of stuff out there that looks like that guy from a Clockwork Orange… RichardM knows what I’m talking about; we go to the same pychiatrist…

(1) First thought: If the climate is changing, it is almost certainly due to the destructive activities of the local residents. Sounds to me like the Martians need to cut down on their CO2 emissions.

(2) As far as the photos go, I was quite impressed by the giant color panorama image they put together a couple months ago. But I can’t seem to find it right now. This one’s not bad though:

(3) I reckon Guangtou and irishstu are closer to the mark with Clockwork Orange than citizen k is with the iguana copulation suggestion. There’s no way those are iguanas.

(4) Final thought: Richardm – it really is about time you joined in this discussion again. You love this stuff. We know you’re reading this. Help us out here man. :notworthy:

No, only the deep fried ones … :smiley:

Damn it Belgian, you’re not taking this seriously…

After Hobbes’ intervention, I’ve decided to see if I can raise the tone a bit. To wit, a poem:

Mars. Big, red and bold,
You shall not grow old,
Like those of us who stare,
But do not dare,
To tread (sp?) where no man,
Nor tribe nor clan,
Has ever gone before,
Is there really no more,
To you glory, your story,
Planet of war, so cold,
Oh Mars, big, red, and bold.