Once Upon a Time in Outer Space
THUNDER BAY – NATION-Tech – Have you ever looked up at the sky on a clear night and seen a bright, red dot? That’s not a star, it’s the planet Mars! Mars is a fascinating place, with mountains, valleys, and even ice. It’s the fourth planet from the Sun, and it’s our next-door neighbour in space. Just like Earth, Mars has days and nights, and it goes around the Sun once a year, but a year on Mars is almost twice as long as a year on Earth!
The Red Planet’s Name
Mars is named after the Roman god of war. The Romans named it this because Mars looks red in the sky, and red is the colour that they associated with war. But don’t worry, Mars isn’t a scary place. It’s just red because of iron oxide, which is a fancy name for rust, that’s on the surface of the planet.
Myths and Stories About Mars
For many years, people have been telling stories and creating myths about Mars. Some people used to believe that there were canals on Mars built by intelligent beings. Others thought there might be little green men living there. These ideas might seem funny to us now, but they were taken very seriously at the time!
Robots on Mars
Even though there are no little green men, we have sent something else to Mars – robots! Scientists and engineers on Earth have built special robots, called rovers, to explore Mars. They have names like “Spirit,” “Opportunity,” “Curiosity,” and “Perseverance.” These rovers take pictures, collect rocks, and help us learn about the Red Planet.
Humans Going to Mars
We haven’t sent people to Mars yet, but that’s something scientists and engineers are working on. Maybe one day, you could be one of the first humans to step foot on Mars! It’s a long journey, and there are many challenges to solve before we can do it, like how to protect astronauts from space radiation, and how to bring enough food and water for the trip. But we love a good challenge, don’t we?
Mars: A Mysterious and Exciting Neighbor
Mars is a mysterious and exciting place. It’s a little like Earth, with its mountains and valleys and ice, but it’s also very different, with its red dirt and thin air. Scientists are always learning new things about Mars, and who knows, maybe one day you’ll be one of them!
So next time you look up at the sky and see that little red dot, wave hello to Mars and imagine all the exciting things that we’re going to discover there in the future.