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02/09/2021 – Ephemeris – Happy Mars New Year

February 9, 2021 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Tuesday, February 9th. Today the Sun will be up for 10 hours and 11 minutes, setting at 6:03, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:49. The Moon, 2 days before new, will rise at 7:35 tomorrow morning.

Thanks to Dr. Phil Plait’s Bad Astronomy Blog I found out that last Sunday was Mars’ New Year’s Day for year 36*. I didn’t know they were counting them. Year 1 started on the first day of spring for Mars’ Northern Hemisphere, April 11th 1955. Like for most calendars the year numbering wasn’t created until later, from a scientific paper published in 2000 which followed the seasonal changes on Mars and had to put them in Mars years to make sense, rather than Earth years. I approve. As a teenager with my first telescope I eagerly awaited Mars’ especially close approach in 1956. By the Mars calendar that was in martian year 1. Back then our ignorance of Mars was profound. But a decade later the Mariner 4 spacecraft flew past Mars taking the first closeup pictures.

The event times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

* For some reason I said it was year 38 in the broadcast.

Addendum

Earth and Mars orbits and seasons compared

Earth and Mars orbits and seasons compared as seen from the north. Planet motion is counterclockwise. Vernal equinox is the position of the planet for the Northern Hemisphere spring Source: Wikipedia user Areong.

Additional links:

https://www.syfy.com/syfywire/happy-martian-new-year

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timekeeping_on_Mars

https://www.planetary.org/articles/mars-calendar

 

 

Categories: Ephemeris Program, Mars Tags: