The fourth planet out from the Sun, Mars has fascinated people for centuries. The red planet is easy to see in the night sky, and telescopic observations have revealed many aspects of its surface and atmosphere.
Observers have also recorded seasonal weather patterns, polar ice caps, volcanoes, and canyons on Mars. This is the first time that NASA has released video of the planet showing its landscape in breathtaking detail.
Mars is a rocky planet that orbits the Sun in a semi-lunar (elongated) path. It’s about 1.5 times farther away from the Sun than Earth is.
The planet is covered with a dense iron core surrounded by a rocky mantle. Above the mantle is a thick crust that’s about 6 to 30 miles (10 to 50 kilometers) deep.
Scientists have uncovered many fascinating features on Mars that tell us a lot about the planet’s history. These include craters, dark sand dunes, volcanoes, and plains.
Some of these features may be relics of the planet’s early years, when it was volcanically active. As Mars cooled, its crust thickened and the surface stopped moving, so the lava piled up in one place.
Another interesting feature is a giant volcano called Olympus Mons, which is about as tall as the tallest mountain on Earth. It sits on Mars’ northern hemisphere and is believed to have been active for about 500 million years.
There are also two small moons, Phobos and Deimos, that may be asteroids that have been caught in the planet’s gravity.
NASA has a wealth of resources to help people learn more about the Red Planet, including videos, animations, stories, and articles. You can even try some activities at home! You can also find out how we’re getting ready for future missions to Mars.
The Galileo spacecraft is one of the most complex robotic spacecraft ever made. It is designed to explore the outer planets and other solar system objects. It is also used to perform other astronomical measurements and missions, such as detecting asteroids and comets.
The first telescopic observations made by Galileo were critical in our understanding of the cosmos. He made detailed observations of stars, the moon, Jupiter and the sun. He published his findings in Starry Messenger, which quickly became a popular astronomical treatise.
He discovered four moons of Jupiter that orbited it just as our Moon orbits Earth. This discovery challenged the prevailing Ptolemaic model of the universe and weakened the hold that it had on European thought.
Galileo also studied the physics of falling objects, which changed our understanding of gravity. He realised that all falling objects accelerate at the same rate, regardless of their weight. He proved that gravity is the only force that determines how fast objects fall.
In addition, Galileo showed that the Earth revolves around the sun in a precise elliptical orbit. This was a breakthrough in our understanding of the sun’s rotation and explains why it is not perfectly round.
The Galileo spacecraft also made the first detection of life on another planet. It travelled very close to the planet and took a series of pictures of it. The scientists on board saw the presence of methane and oxygen in the atmosphere. These were gases that were unusual to have in an atmosphere without life.
This video free download features the landing of ESA’s Huygens probe on Saturn’s largest moon, Titan. The video was created using data from the Descent Imager/Spectral Radiometer (DISR) on the spacecraft.
The probe landed on January 14, 2005, and studied Titan’s atmosphere, which was a thin layer of nitrogen ice mixed with hydrogen. It also analyzed the surface and photographed its rocky terrain.
It is the fourth space probe to visit the planet and the first to enter the orbit of Saturn. This mission was a cooperative effort between NASA, ESA and the Italian Space Agency.
This interactive kiosk uses a series of images and sounds to demonstrate how the lander deployed its parachute, then flew down through the smog-like atmosphere. The left speaker follows the DISR rotation counter and the right speaker reveals the chimes that represent events such as heating of the heat shield, deployment of the main parachute, jettison of the DISR cover, and touch down.
The chime tones are based on the data collected by the Descent Imager/Spectral Radiometer, and they are designed to show various phases of the probe’s descent. Each chime has a different pitch.
Christian Huygens was an important figure in science, particularly the study of light. He proposed that light is made of waves propagating perpendicular to the direction of its movement. This theory of light was known as the “Huygens Principle.”
For more than a decade, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft shared the wonders of Saturn with scientists back on Earth. From jets of ice and gas shooting into space from the subsurface ocean on Titan to plumes of liquid water shooting out through cracks in the icy surface of Enceladus, Cassini uncovered new levels of complexity in the ringed planet’s moons.
The mission was the first to visit Saturn in great detail. Its two components, the Cassini space probe and the European Huygens probe, gathered invaluable data that changed our understanding of this huge world.
With an array of powerful instruments, Cassini was able to take detailed measurements in different atmospheric conditions and in a range of light spectra. It also took a variety of close-up pictures of Saturn and its rings.
One of the most important discoveries that Cassini made was the presence of meteoroids, or small pieces of rock or ice, in the outer rings of Saturn. It found that these tiny particles were crashing into Saturn’s rings at the same rate as they do on Earth — a discovery that helped scientists better understand how large and complex a planet’s rings are.
Another fascinating finding was that the magnetic field of Saturn is closely aligned with its axis of rotation, which baffled scientists until they started to study it further in 2017. Finally, Cassini took some stunning images of the planet’s inner rings.
Percival Lowell, a wealthy American amateur astronomer, was a key player in planetary research and popularized the idea that Mars was home to an advanced, technological civilization. He built a telescope and observatory near Flagstaff, Arizona in 1894.
Lowell discovered that the surface of Mars reveals distinct features that are arranged into straight lines, which he saw as artificial canals on the planet. These canals were interpreted by other astronomers as evidence of a Martian society that used them to distribute water across the planet.
These ideas were highly influential, and they led to a surge in interest in Mars among the public. In the 1890s, a variety of full-page illustrated stories were published in newspapers about life on Mars.
Although most astronomers were skeptical of Lowell’s claims, his enthusiasm for the idea fueled the imagination of the public. The result was a range of fictional visions of what life would be like on Mars if these ideas were true, including H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds, which featured an alien civilization that was ruthless and uncaring.
The story also portrayed a Martian society that was jealous of Earth’s water, causing them to flood the planet with their water supply. The resulting sickness and death of millions of Martians was widely reported in the media.
NASA, or the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, is a government agency that works to explore the skies above us. They also study Earth, other planets, and the universe as a whole.
They are an important part of American culture, and their contributions to human space flight are legendary. Since 1958, they have landed people on the Moon and visited all seven planets in our solar system.
Their work has also made the world safer by developing a reusable spacecraft, the Space Shuttle. This has been crucial in enabling human travel to space, and they have also studied our environment by sending a range of satellites into orbit.
Some of these satellites have been very helpful in detecting earthquakes, hurricanes, and volcanoes. Others have helped scientists understand how climate change is changing our planet.
In addition to space exploration, NASA has also been involved in a range of other science experiments. These include studying the Moon and other planets, developing technology to enable a future space colony, and finding out more about the Earth’s natural resources.
These have been extremely useful in helping scientists understand our planet and our solar system better, as well as the universe. Their mission is to inspire humanity to explore new frontiers and discover new knowledge.
The agency also helps people learn more about science, mathematics and technology, by sharing the latest NASA news with teachers, and by providing educational materials. In addition, they work to develop international cooperation in space exploration, as a way to keep the peace.