Now Available! Real World Globes is superimposing the observed canal systems of
Mars on its antiqued topographic surface to make a unique Science Fiction
Classic which you will want for your personal collection.
Lowell published Mars and its Canals in 1906 and dedicated his work to Giovanni
V. Schiaparelli. In 1877 Mars was in the
best viewing position for 30 years.
Schiaparelli named the large southern impact crater Hellas Planitia
along with another 300 Martian features including linear features he thought
connected light and dark patches.
of Lowells' text is annotated here.
In 1892 W.H. Pickering at “Arequipa”(1) was
the chief observer of the planet Mars, he detected small round spots scattered
over the surface of the planet and connected with the canal system, which he
called lakes. He also detected more or less irregular lines traversing
the Mare Erythraeum which he called river systems, sometimes schematically
1894 Mr Douglass assistant to Lowell at Flagstaff, AZ found the seas to be
crossed by lines as regular and as regularly connected as the canals in the
Von Braun essay Collier’s, March,1952 “the Martian Project” outlined the
exploration of Mars.
launched by the Soviet Union Oct 4,1957 spurred the Americans into action.
founded July 29, 1958, T. Keith Glenman was first Director of NASA, he
consolidated Army and Navy operations and gained control of JPL in Pasadena, CA
4 arrived 6000 miles above Mars July15, 1965 providing the first close-up
pictures showing heavily cratered surface more like the moon than earth. The theories of Schiaparelli and Lowell were
exposed as pure myth.
1 and 2 launched in Fall, 1975, they had
analysers on board which landed on Mars.
Carl Sagan of the Viking team wrote in 1977 that they found no evidence
of life. The landers were not
mobile. The next successful landing in
1997 was Pathfinder which showed that mobile exploration could be done.
Observatory, established by Harvard in 1891 near the second most populous city of Peru, http://oasis.lib.harvard.edu/oasis/deliver/~hua04008
Traces of tsunamis on Mars are the newest clues yet that the Red
Planet once had oceans,
which could have supported life, researchers said.
These killer waves might have been triggered by giant meteor impacts,
Although the surface of Mars
is now cold and dry, there is a great deal of evidence suggesting that an ocean's worth of water covered the Red Planet billions of years ago. Since life is
found on Earth virtually wherever there is liquid water, some researchers have
suggested that life might have evolved on Mars when the planet was wet. Life
could survive there even now, hidden underground, some scientists have said.
A primitive ocean on Mars held more water than
Earth’s Arctic Ocean, according to NASA scientists who, using ground-based
observatories, measured water signatures in the Red Planet’s atmosphere.
Scientists have been
searching for answers to why this vast water supply left the surface. Details
of the observations and computations appear in Thursday’s edition of Science
“Our study provides a
solid estimate of how much water Mars once had, by determining how much water
was lost to space,” said Geronimo Villanueva, a scientist at NASA’s Goddard
Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and lead author of the new paper.
“With this work, we can better understand the history of water on Mars.”
Perhaps about 4.3
billion years ago, Mars would have had enough water to cover its entire surface
in a liquid layer about 450 feet (137 meters) deep. More likely, the water
would have formed an ocean occupying almost half of Mars’ northern hemisphere,
in some regions reaching depths greater than a mile (1.6 kilometers).
The new estimate is
based on detailed observations made at the European Southern Observatory’s Very
Large Telescope in Chile, and the W.M. Keck Observatory and NASA Infrared
Telescope Facility in Hawaii. With these powerful instruments, the researchers
distinguished the chemical signatures of two slightly different forms of water
in Mars’ atmosphere. One is the familiar H2O. The other is HDO, a
naturally occurring variation in which one hydrogen is replaced by a heavier
form, called deuterium.
By comparing the ratio
of HDO to H2O in water on Mars today and comparing it with the ratio
in water trapped in a Mars meteorite dating from about 4.5 billion years ago,
scientists can measure the subsequent atmospheric changes and determine how
much water has escaped into space.
The team mapped H2O
and HDO levels several times over nearly six years, which is equal to
approximately three Martian years. The resulting data produced global snapshots
of each compound, as well as their ratio. These first-of-their-kind maps reveal
regional variations called microclimates and seasonal changes, even though
modern Mars is essentially a desert.
The research team was
especially interested in regions near Mars’ north and south poles, because the
polar ice caps hold the planet’s largest known water reservoir. The water
stored there is thought to capture the evolution of Mars’ water during the wet
Noachian period, which ended about 3.7 billion years ago, to the present.
From the measurements of
atmospheric water in the near-polar region, the researchers determined the
enrichment, or relative amounts of the two types of water, in the planet’s
permanent ice caps. The enrichment of the ice caps told them how much water
Mars must have lost – a volume 6.5 times larger than the volume in the polar
caps now. That means the volume of Mars’ early ocean must have been at least 20
million cubic kilometers (5 million cubic miles).
Based on the surface of
Mars today, a likely location for this water would be in the Northern Plains,
considered a good candidate because of the low-lying ground. An ancient ocean
there would have covered 19 percent of the planet’s surface. By comparison, the
Atlantic Ocean occupies 17 percent of Earth’s surface.
“With Mars losing that
much water, the planet was very likely wet for a longer period of time than was
previously thought, suggesting it might have been habitable for longer,” said
Michael Mumma, a senior scientist at Goddard and the second author on the
NASA is studying Mars
with a host of spacecraft and rovers under the agency’s Mars Exploration
Program, including the Opportunity and Curiosity rovers, Odyssey and Mars
Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft, and the MAVEN orbiter, which arrived at the
Red Planet in September 2014 to study the planet’s upper atmosphere.
In 2016, a Mars lander
mission called InSight will launch to take a first look into the deep interior
of Mars. The agency also is participating in ESA’s (European Space Agency) 2016
and 2018 ExoMars missions, including providing telecommunication radios to
ESA’s 2016 orbiter and a critical element of the astrobiology instrument on the
2018 ExoMars rover. NASA’s next rover, heading to Mars in 2020, will carry
instruments to conduct unprecedented science and exploration technology
investigations on the Red Planet.
NASA’s Mars Exploration
Program seeks to characterize and understand Mars as a dynamic system,
including its present and past environment, climate cycles, geology and
biological potential. In parallel, NASA is developing the human spaceflight
capabilities needed for future round-trip missions to Mars in the 2030s.
To view a video of this
More information about
NASA's Mars programs is online at:
Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
301-286-0039 / 301-614-5438
firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
Last Updated: July
Tags: Goddard Space Flight Center, Mars, Planets, Solar System
Wells wrote War of The Worlds published 1898; here is an excerpt about seeing
Martians in New Jersey:
Seen nearer, the Thing was
incredibly strange, with a ringing metallic pace, and long, flexible,
glittering tentacles swinging and rattling about its strange body.… Behind
the main body was a huge mass of white metal like a gigantic fisherman’s
basket, and puffs of green smoke squirted out from the joints of the limbs as
the monster swept by me. And in an instant it was gone.—Book
1, Chap. 10, ¶15