Sunday, 7 February 2021

happy martian new year

For a host of arbitrary and capricious reasons—the same that plague and beset our own terrestrial time-keeping buoyed by a compelling amount of research, observation and calculation to synchronise our calendars and fix our neighbouring planet to a chronological and epochal marker, today marks Year 36, falling on the Red Planet’s vernal equinox. MY 1 coincided with 11 April 1955 here on Earth when astronomers were first able monitor and to study the seasonal changes to the landscape in depth and could better articulate what was going on. Because a day on Mars (Sol) is a bit longer than our own and because of the planet’s superior orbit, it takes twice as long to circle the sun, hence only at MY 36. The probe Tianwen1 will join a number of other steadfast explorers to celebrate.