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??