Red Planet Day
About Red Planet Day
When is Red Planet Day? This holiday is always observed on November 28
Today is Red Planet Day, a November 28 holiday. The planet Mars is referred to as the “Red Planet” because it appears red. Red Planet Day honors our celestial neighbor, the fourth planet in the solar system.
It is sometimes called the “rusty planet”. The red color comes from the iron oxide (rust) that covers it. But, is Mars truly red in color? Scientists debated this question, even after the Mars Rovers landed and began to explore the planet. Why? Because the lenses used to take photos are tinted.
On Red Planet Day, take a few minutes to look upwards into the sky, and gaze at our neighbor. Hopefully, you will have a cloudless night sky for viewing. You can also recognize this day by reading up about Mars and viewing pictures of it. There are plenty of pictures online. NASA’s website is an excellent place to see high-quality pictures.
Red Planet Day commemorates the launch of the Spacecraft Mariner 4 on November 28, 1964. Mariner 4 was the first spacecraft to visit Mars. The 228-day mission of Mariner 4 brought the spacecraft within 6,118 miles of Mars on July 14, 1965.
Mars Trivia and Facts
Fourth Planet from the Sun
Mars gets its name from the Greek word “Ares”, the God of War
Often visible to the naked eye
Distance from the Sun: average 136,764,000 miles
Rotation around the Sun: 687 days
Rotation period: 1.026 Earth days
Gravity: 1/3 of Earth
Size: 7th largest planet, about 1/10th the mass of Earth
Moons: Mars has two moons. Deimos and Phobos.
Temperature range(F): -207 to +81 degrees
How to Celebrate Red Planet Day
- Look to the sky tonight and see if you can spot Mars.
- Use a telescope or a pair of binoculars to see it better.
- For a really good look, go to your local planetarium.
- Read a book on Mars.
- Watch a movie about Mars. There are plenty to choose from.
“I’d like to die on Mars, just not on impact.” – Elon Musk
History and Origin of Red Planet Day
“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” – – Dr. Seuss
Red Planet Day commemorates the launch of the spacecraft Mariner 4 by NASA on November 28, 1964. While we know why this holiday was created, we do not yet know who created it or when.
More November 28 Holidays
More About Today
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