Mars: The Hoax and the Reality

It’s Great Without the Hype

Magellan Crater on Mars, courtesy Mars Express orbiter.

Welcome to my Mars page connected to the August 15, 2010 podcast on 365 Days of Astronomy. Mars has always fascinated me, and at one time, I really hoped that I’d be one of the first Mars ” ‘nauts” to get to go to the Red Planet. That was when I was younger and thought that humanity’s space programs had a chance of getting somewhere in a reasonable amount of time.  And, as I point out in my podcast, I did insert a childhood game of Mars exploration into a planetarium show I wrote, called SkyQuest.

As I’ve gotten older (and admittedly more cynical), I realize that Mars won’t be explored by humans anytime soon — except for the long-distance, robotic types of missions we’re now involved in. So, I get my “Mars jones” on vicariously through the gorgeous images and data sent back by those missions.

It’s a great planet to explore — and you can do it online and by stepping outside the next week or so and seeing it low in the western sky along with Venus and Saturn.  Check it out! It’s a planet worthy of exploration.

If you’ve heard of that silly “Mars is Bigger than the Moon” or “Mars is getting too close to Earth” hoax stuff, don’t believe it.  It’s all based on easily curable misunderstandings and the same silly h0ax email has been going around the Internet since 2003. It’s old news, folks.  Want to know more?  Check out these pages:

Snopes.com Mars Hoax page.

EarthSky’s Mars Hoax Page

Now, if you want to do some REAL Mars exploration from the comfort of your computer, check out these links:

Mars Express

NASA Mars Pages

P.s. The 365 Days page has the wrong transcript posted — it’ll probably get fixed in a day or so. But, a couple of you have written asking for the transcript. It’s here. Right-click to download (unless your browser can read PDFs).

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