Mars fans are going to need to sip New Year’s champagne a little earlier in 2022.
The beginning of the new year Mars It started today (December 26), NASA said, days after Rover Perseverance Setting a milestone on the Red Planet by filing Two material caches that will be used in a future sample return task.
“No, we’re not celebrating early by chance,” NASA Mars says joked twitter account, (Opens in a new tab) Referring to the Gregorian calendar, which is followed by most of the world; This system’s New Year will end as usual on January 1 (however, your tradition may have different New Years).
NASA and several other space agencies are scouring the surface of the Red Planet looking for signs of ancient life, which will culminate in a joint NASA-European sample return mission that could transport regolith back in the 2030s.
It was the first flyby of Mars Mariner 4 It’s July 14, 1965, but for the Red Planet’s New Year, scientists have begun counting since the planet reached the northern vernal equinox in 1955. “Arbitrary point starting, but it helps to have order,” NASA officials wrote on Twitter.
“Numbering the years of Mars helps scientists keep track of long-term observations, such as weather data collected over decades by NASA’s spacecraft,” they added.
Because Mars is farther from the sun than LandThe red planet takes nearly twice as long to orbit our sun. The Martian year is 687 days long, and by the way, the last time we got in the new year on the Red Planet, Perseverance hadn’t landed yet.
The rover-sized vehicle touched down on February 18, 2021, about 11 days after the last Martian New Year celebration. In addition to leaving Hideouts in the shape of lightsabers On the surface of the planet, there is already an accompanying helicopter called Ingenuity Completed 37 flights It is expected to take to the skies again soon.
Elizabeth Howell is co-author of “Why am I taller (Opens in a new tab)? (ECW Press, 2022; with Canadian astronaut Dave Williams), a book on space medicine. Follow her on Twitter @employee (Opens in a new tab). Follow us on Twitter @employee (Opens in a new tab) or Facebook (Opens in a new tab).
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