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Mars and Martians

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1098974.  Thu Oct 23, 2014 4:19 pm Reply with quote

I've been collecting links on MARS for a while now, hoping to getting around to consolidating them into an entry.
It appears I'll probably never really have the time to do the subject justice. But seeing how the topic has not yet made an appearance and
just this week Mars had a very close encounter with a passing comet and I found a fun article from io9 anticipating the event I thought I'd at least aim for sharing some of the more interesting ones of the various links I've accumulated as a starting point and hope that the rest of this wonderful forum will jump in with more fun facts.

Link about The Roman God the planet was named after.

Regarding Mars' appearance and nickname "Red Planet":
Why Is Mars Red?
Red Skies On Mars
Mars: The Dusty Planet

A new Mars crater created and discovered in May of this year

Last edited by germananglophile on Thu Oct 23, 2014 4:21 pm; edited 1 time in total

1098975.  Thu Oct 23, 2014 4:20 pm Reply with quote

Famous stories and depictions of Martians include:

H.G.Wells's War of the Worlds (which famously was adapted as a radio drama by Orson Welles, causing public panic at the time.)

Looney Tunes characterMarvin the Martian

The Roswell UFO incident
The latter having caused a lot of speculation including a theory that the Roswell Martians Might Have Been Nazi Kids From Mengele’s Lab
though the Roswell incident was reported in the 1990 to have been caused by a crashed Project Mogul balloon.

Mars and Martians are and were popular elements for Science Fiction stories.
(Edgar Rice Burroughs' "A Princess of Mars" was adapted as a movie almost 100 years after its release as the 2012 movie John Carter)

Also fun to check out this Wikipedia list of Mars in fiction and the probably most famous 15 Mars Movies.

1098976.  Thu Oct 23, 2014 4:20 pm Reply with quote

The British chocolate bar was first sold in 1932.

1099045.  Fri Oct 24, 2014 10:54 am Reply with quote

Mars, of course, was the surname of the family who manufactured them, hence Galaxy and Milky Way keeping up the astronomical theme.

1099060.  Fri Oct 24, 2014 4:13 pm Reply with quote

There is no contemporary evidence of any panic whatever during Orson Welles' broadcast. If you listen to the production (as I have) you will soon realise how unlikely it was that any functioning adult would have believed a word of it, let alone panicked. I have a book which utterly writes off the idea, I shall return preveniently with details.

Found it.
"The Encyclopedia of the World's Greatest Unsolved Mysteries"
by John & Anne Spencer. Eight pages of thorough debunking by returning to primary sources.

As for the "Project Mogul" balloon crap for Roswell, that seems only marginally less unlikely than a crashed UFO.

1099191.  Sat Oct 25, 2014 12:38 pm Reply with quote

There is also a book called "Getting it Wrong" by Joseph W Campbell which deals with the hysteria myth. It is suggested that the stories of panic were invented by the newspapers in order to discredit the relatively new medium of radio.

1099200.  Sat Oct 25, 2014 1:40 pm Reply with quote

The book I referred to suggests that Mr Welles may have mentioned to the press beforehand that there might be a little panic. His company was not doing so well financially, and having his name in virtually every paper the next morning couldn't have harmed his advertising revenue, could it?

1099207.  Sat Oct 25, 2014 2:13 pm Reply with quote

crissdee wrote:
There is no contemporary evidence of any panic whatever during Orson Welles' broadcast.

Well, there seems to have been at least some aftermath. I will concede that perhaps "mass panic" was an over-enthusiastic description.

crissdee wrote:
As for the "Project Mogul" balloon crap for Roswell, that seems only marginally less unlikely than a crashed UFO.

I'd be curious to read more on your theory dismissal.
(You'll find that I was more careful in the listing of that link, merely stating that it was reported to be the cause. While collecting links for this topic honestly haven't yet delved that deep into the Roswell incidents, hoping against hope to one day have time to give it proper attention. This is where I'm glad this forum picks up the thread.)

1099825.  Thu Oct 30, 2014 2:29 pm Reply with quote today celebrates as its This Day In History feature "Orson Welles causes panic with his ‘War of the Worlds’ broadcast"
Also check out this beautifully created 3 minute video for their segment on "The Great Martian War".

1099870.  Fri Oct 31, 2014 2:48 am Reply with quote

Unlike Earth, Mars has no large (compared to its own size) moon to stabilise its axis of rotation and so is thought to periodically flip its axis. Along with other hostile environmental conditions, such instability means that complex Martian life could never have formed.

Janet H
1099873.  Fri Oct 31, 2014 3:01 am Reply with quote

Also too low in mass to hold a decent atmosphere for very long, and low/no internal magnetic field to protect from solar radiation etc??

1099876.  Fri Oct 31, 2014 3:59 am Reply with quote

Also the absence of certain critical minerals, making it impossible to produce essential life-sustaining substances like Magnolia paint.


Big Martin
1099906.  Fri Oct 31, 2014 7:31 am Reply with quote

There was a Horizon programme covering the the exploration of Mars and the search for life there by various probes. I think it was on BBC4 again last night.
During an interview with an American lady scientist during the programme she defends the lack of success in finding evidence of life by saying "it's like going into your backyard and expecting to find fossils". If this is the case, they OUGHT to have found something as you CAN go into my back garden and dig up more fossils than you could ever want.

Janet H
1099910.  Fri Oct 31, 2014 7:51 am Reply with quote

Not here, clay all the way down!

Big Martin
1099920.  Fri Oct 31, 2014 10:24 am Reply with quote

The street (and possibly a lot of the village) is on an old sea bed. Dig down a foot or so and you get to repeating thin layers of rock (stuffed full of fossilised shells) and clay (stuffed full of colourful shell fragments that fade rapidly once in the air). The rock layers are a fairly constant 1-2 inches thick, which makes it great for building low walls around raised garden beds or, if you can get a really big piece, as a stepping stone.


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