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Mars in Hoagland's Eyes

Date: 08-27-03
Host: George Noory
Guests: N/A

"Mars is now almost blinding, it's absolutely breathtaking...Tonight, it's closer than it's been since maybe we were there," said Richard C. Hoagland (Special Enterprise Site(1)) as he spoke on a cell phone while peering into a telescope. Live from the Star Hill Inn(2), an astronomy retreat in New Mexico, Hoagland was the guest on Wednesday night for the entire four hour broadcast of the show, to mark the historic close passing of Mars.

The sky was cloudy, obstructing his view of Mars, until the last third of the show, when Hoagland was able to jubilantly report his first hand observations of details such as the "north polar hood." He also noted with excitement a recent quote of NASA scientist Jim Garvin who said of Mars " I believe it's hiding unbelievable secrets that we're not quite smart enough yet to be able to uncover," in an ABC News story(3).

"When you look at Mars," Hoagland said near the end of the show, "you're seeing a planet where something has gone terribly wrong. I think that going to Mars and finding out that our ancient ancestors somehow blew it, that whatever there is now is in ruins, will have a stunning dramatic effect on the psyche of people here on this planet. It's something big enough to kick us in the seat of the pants, so that we continue to save the vital atmosphere, ocean and environment of the only world we can live upon without technology."

1. http://www.enterprisemission.com/mars/index.php
2. http://www.starhillinn.com/StarHillInn.html
3. http://more.abcnews.go.com/sections/scitech/worldnewstonight/mars_potter030827.html

Related Articles

Mars Moves In

Tonight's guest Richard C. Hoagland has had a long standing fascination with Mars, believing the planet contains evidence of previous civilizations. While this is a hotly debated topic, one thing is for sure. Mars is getting ready for its close-up. By late August of this year, it will be the closest it's been to Earth in 73,000 years! As the Red Planet moves in, it will be growing steadily brighter and larger in the sky. And by the time August 27th rolls around, it will be literally millions of miles closer to us than it is now. Mars will appear six times larger and 85 times brighter, and be outshone in the night sky by only Venus and the moon.

According to Space.com, Mars comes into "opposition" every 26 months, when the Sun, Earth and Mars form a straight line. But this time around, because Mars is as close to the Sun as it ever gets on its orbit, it will be extraordinarily close to us. Just think the last time, Mars appeared like this in the sky, Neanderthals may have looked up and wondered about it.--L.L.

Bumper Music

Bumper music from Wednesday August 27, 2003

  • #41
    Dave Matthews Band

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