Mars like you’ve never seen it before: ‘Live’ images of the Red Planet are set to air TODAY – here’s how to watch
No human being has ever set foot on Mars, despite our hopes of doing so in the near future.
Now, for the first time, we’ll see Mars ‘live’ as images are streamed in near real time from the Red Planet’s surface, directly on YouTube.
Mars has only been seen in the past, through images of orbiters and landers exploring it, usually a few days after the shot.
But to celebrate the 20th anniversary of ESA’s Mars Express spacecraft orbiting the Red Planet, experts have spent weeks developing tools that would allow images from the probe’s camera to be streamed live for a whole hour.
Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun – a dusty, cold, desert world with a thin atmosphere. For the first time, we will see Mars “live” as images are streamed in near real time from the Red Planet’s surface, directly to YouTube. Pictured is Mars captured by the Hubble Telescope
New footage will be released approximately every 50 seconds, starting around 5pm UK time.
The Mars Express Visual Surveillance Camera has previously discovered the evolution of a rare elongated cloud formation hovering over one of Mars’ most famous volcanoes – the 20 km high Arsia Mons.
“This is an old camera, originally intended for engineering purposes, at a distance of almost three million kilometers from Earth,” said James Godfrey, space operations manager at the mission control center. of ESA in Darmstadt, Germany.
“It’s never been tried before and to be honest, we’re not 100% sure it will work.”
“But I’m pretty optimistic. Normally we see images of Mars and know they were taken days ago.
“I’m excited to see Mars as it is now – as close to a Martian ‘now’ as possible!”
Due to the large distance between Earth and Mars – around 140 million miles on average – there will actually be a slight delay in transmission.
During Friday’s hour-long live stream, the time between images taken from orbit around Mars and appearing on screen will be approximately 18 minutes.
The ESA said: “That’s 17 minutes for light to travel from Mars to Earth in its current configuration, and about a minute to traverse cables and servers on the ground.”
On Friday, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of ESA’s Mars Express (pictured here), you’ll have the chance to get as close to Mars as possible.
There are only a few historical examples where humans on Earth have seen live images or video from space, including NASA’s DART mission that crashed a probe into a moon, and the Apollo missions.
Mars Express, so called because of its rapid and streamlined development time, represents the European Space Agency’s (ESA) first visit to another planet in the solar system.
The spacecraft, launched in 2003, borrowed technology from ESA’s Rosetta and Mars 96 missions.
Since science operations began in 2004, the sustainable orbiter has given scientists a whole new view of Earth’s intriguing neighbor.
It now helps answer fundamental questions about the geology, atmosphere, surface environment, water history and potential for life on Mars.
March: the basics
Mars is the fourth planet from the sun, with a dusty, cold and “nearly dead” desert world with a very thin atmosphere.
Mars is also a dynamic planet with seasons, polar caps, canyons, extinct volcanoes, and evidence that it was even more active in the past.
It is one of the most explored planets in the solar system and the only planet that humans have sent rovers to explore.
This image taken by NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover shows a close-up of the wavy textures on Mars
A day on Mars lasts just over 24 hours and a year has 687 Earth days.
Facts and figures
Orbital period: 687 days
Area: 55.91 million mi²
Distance from the Sun: 145 million miles
Gravity: 3.721 m/s²
Ray: 2,106 miles
Moons: Phobos, Deimos