Red Planet Day 2022: History, Significance and Activities

Red Planet Day is annually celebrated on 28th November. This day celebrates the planet Mars and encourages people towards learning more about it! 

This day also commemorates the launch of Mariner 4 spacecraft. Mariner 4, a robotic interplanetary probe, was launched by NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) on November 28, 1964. It was the fourth of a series of spacecraft designed to fly past planets, and it became the first to fly past Mars. It provided the first close-up photos of the planet and the first from-space images of another planet ever. 

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. On Red Planet Day we celebrate our fascination with Mars, along with all the scientific advancements into understanding the dusty planet.  

Event Red Planet Day
Date November 28, 2022
Day Monday
Significance The day celebrates the red planet Mars
Observed by United States

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Red Planet Day History: 

The history of observations of Mars is marked by the oppositions of Mars when the planet is closest to Earth and hence is most easily visible, which occur every couple of years. Even more notable are the perihelic oppositions of Mars, which are distinguished because Mars is close to perihelion, making it even closer to Earth. The ancient Sumerians named Mars Nergal, the god of war and plague. During Sumerian times, Nergal was a minor deity of little significance, but, during later times, his main cult center was the city of Nineveh. In Mesopotamian texts, Mars is referred to as the “star of judgement of the fate of the dead.”  

The existence of Mars as a wandering object in the night sky was also recorded by the ancient Egyptian astronomers and, by 1534 BCE, they were familiar with the retrograde motion of the planet. In Ancient Greece too plant Mars was named. Commonly, the Greek name for the planet now referred to as Mars, was Ares. It was the Romans who named the planet Mars, for their god of war, often represented by the sword and shield of the planet’s namesake. In the fourth century BCE, Aristotle noted that Mars disappeared behind the Moon during an occultation, indicating that the planet was farther away. Ptolemy, a Greek living in Alexandria, attempted to address the problem of the orbital motion of Mars. 

By the 19th century, the resolution of telescopes reached a level sufficient for surface features to be identified. On 5 September 1877, a perihelic opposition of Mars occurred. The Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli used a 22-centimetre (8.7 in) telescope in Milan to help produce the first detailed map of Mars. As bigger telescopes were used, fewer long, straight canali were observed. During observations in 1909 by Antoniadi with an 84-centimetre (33 in) telescope, irregular patterns were observed, but no canali were seen. 

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 and this event was a major scientific achievement which made us to know much about the Mars and hence this event deserves appreciation, that’s why we celebrate this day.  

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Red Planet Day Significance: 

Mars is a very beautiful looking red-colored planet, it is approximately half the diameter of Earth, with a surface area only slightly less than the total area of Earth’s dry land. Mars is less dense than Earth, having about 15% of Earth’s volume and 11% of Earth’s mass, resulting in about 38% of Earth’s surface gravity. The red-orange appearance of the Martian surface is caused by iron(III) oxide, or rust. It can look like butterscotch; other common surface colors include golden, brown, tan, and greenish, depending on the minerals present. 

Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun and the second-smallest planet in the Solar System, being larger than only Mercury. Mars is a terrestrial planet with a thin atmosphere (less than 1% that of Earth’s), and has a crust primarily composed of elements similar to Earth’s crust, as well as a core made of iron and nickel. Mars has surface features such as impact craters, valleys, dunes, and polar ice caps. It has two small and irregularly shaped moons: Phobos and Deimos. Some of the most notable surface features on Mars include Olympus Mons, the largest volcano and highest known mountain on any planet in the Solar System, and Valles Marineris, one of the largest canyons in the Solar System. 

Mars is often called the red planet and it has a huge importance in astrology. It represents the masculine character of a native. Its element is dry and fiery. Mars, in different mythology, is also called the god of war. The native under the influence of Mars is likely to be hot in temperament with a warrior mentality. It elevates the animal nature of a person. It rules qualities like courage, confidence, leadership. But on the other hand, it can also lead to negative qualities like anger, rage, short-tempered, hatred, impulsive nature and insensitivity. However, Mars also grants skills to a person and helps him become good surgeons, engineers, designers and many other skilled professions.

The spaceflight community is currently discussing a manned mission to Mars in the decade of the 2030s. And they’re putting a little work towards that goal, each and every day. So think like that on a personal scale. Where would you like to be in five or ten years? What would you like to be doing? Put a little work in every day. If humanity is getting close to a manned mission to Mars and all indications say “yes” — how long before a setting like the one in “Star Trek” comes true, with man interacting with other intelligent species from other parts of the universe? It’s just plain fun to think about! 

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Red Planet Day Activities: 

Did you know that part of the plan for the not-yet-landed Perseverance Rover is to fill test tubes with sample material and seal them, for future pickup by a mission that would be able to return to Earth? Many, many facts like this  which are easy to find, when you sit down and do a little internet surfing. So use this opportunity to increase your knowledge about the red planet! 

This is the opportunity for you to get connected with this beautiful planet and for this you can try to watch a Mars-themed movies or read any Mars-themed books. There are large number of content available today which is focused on Mars and there also even more featuring Mars! So use this occasion to indulge yourselves into the amazing world of this planet! 

If you have a telescope then it is the moment for you to look at this beautiful red planet in the sky at night for clear observation. If you don’t posses any telescope then also you don’t have to worry you can still observe the planet Mars by paying a visit to any nearby planetary near you! Otherwise you can also visit Science City of your city as most of them contains information and activities regarding universe including the planet Mars. 

Most Searched FAQs on Red Planet Day: 

1. When is Red Planet Day celebrated? 

Red Planet Day is annually celebrated on 28th November. 

2. What does Red Planet Day commemorates? 

Red Planet Day commemorates the launch of the Mariner 4 spacecraft, a interplanetary probe by NASA on November 28, 1964. 

3. Why is Mars the best planet to live on other than earth? 

After the Earth, Mars is the most habitable planet in our solar system due to several reasons: Its soil contains water to extract. It isn’t too cold or too hot. There is enough sunlight to use solar panels for energy. 

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