Today you may be celebrating Thanksgiving, but let’s take a minute to remember our planetary neighbor, Mars, and celebrate this lesser known November holiday. Often referred to as the “Red Planet” due to its color, Mars is the fourth planet from the sun in our solar system. But why is today Red Planet Day? Well, let me tell you. On this day in 1964, the Mariner 4 was launched on its flyby mission to Mars. It traveled hundreds of millions of kilometers to get some rad close range images of the planet. And this is important because Mars is like, RIGHT THERE. I mean, come on, in the grand scheme of the universe, we are next door neighbors. You know, when you live next to someone for long enough, it’s a good idea to check them out.
How to Celebrate
Mars is often visible to the naked eye, so after your Thanksgiving celebration (or before your crazy Black Friday shopping), go stargazing. About an hour after midnight in late November, Mars looks like a reddish star, and can be viewed rising in the east in front of the constellation Leo the Lion. In greek mythology, Mars is the god of war, which ties in nicely with the fact that the planet Mars is red. Red like blood. Given the holiday season and Thanksgiving, let’s also use today as a reason to be thankful for the peace we know in our everyday lives, and pray for peace in places of war.
Quote of the Day
“Everything’s got space between it, the planets, trees, your eyes. Your eyes get too close together, it’s a whole different world. You can lose perspective.” – Mos Def
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