Night Vision: Mars

Holly Anderson

Mars is there, and waiting to be reached.
-Buzz Aldrin

Science and science fiction have always been centered on getting to the “great beyond,” but lately these fields have been focused on one “beyond” in particular: Mars.

Films like Star Wars make space travel look less complicated than a drive to the park. Earth sent astronauts to the Moon not once, but six times. With these “facts” presented before us, surely reaching out next closest celestial neighbor is a task close at hand.

Mars photo high res

A high resolution image of Mars.

But really, what will it take to get to Mars? What will it take to come back from the Red Planet? What will astronauts find once they finally touch down on the Martian surface?

Night Vision: Mars will not only examine the complications of reaching such a far away object with manned spacecraft, but also on how far we have come in our knowledge of the Red Planet and the secrets it holds.

We will begin with an overview of Mars’ past, discussing ancient Earth beliefs and accidental mistranslations of lore that led to enduring, but ultimately incorrect, conceptions of Mars.

Finally, we’ll look at how we came to know what we now understand about the Red Planet’s surface features (including the recent discovery of water near the Martian surface), and about the technology that helped us to make these discoveries.

Early map of Mars drawn by Schiaparelli.

Early map of Mars drawn by Schiaparelli.

Last but not least Night Vision: Mars will explore the challenges that NASA must overcome in order to make the Orion mission a success.

Night Vision: Mars is hosted on Saturday evening, November 28th, in the Hansen Dome Theatre at 6:45pm. Tickets available online or at the Clark Planetarium ticket desk. Free for members and $2 for everyone else.

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