November 25th, 2007

December a busy month for Mars The Honolulu Advertiser

Jupiter loses command of the night sky next month, exiting into the glow of the sunset to eventually emerge ahead of the sun in the morning sky. However, another planet moves into center stage, perhaps not as large and bright as Jupiter, but definitely holding its own set of mysteries.
Mars reaches opposition next month, rising as the sun sets on Christmas Eve. Six days earlier, the Red Planet reaches its closest point to Earth’s orbit, roughly 54.8 million miles away.
These two Martian events, closest approach and opposition, happen roughly every two years as Earth catches up to slower Mars in its longer orbit around the sun. During opposition, Earth is between the sun and the fourth planet, resulting in Mars and the sun being opposite in the sky (opposition). Because Mars’ orbit is not perfectly circular โ€” in fact it’s relatively oval โ€” some oppositions are better than others. You may recall the Mars Madness that occurred in August 2003, where that opposition brought Earth and Mars closest in recorded history, or 60,000 years.

April 26th, 2007

Off on a mission to ‘Mars on Earth’ The Honolulu Advertiser

What is it like to live on Mars?
Seven adventurous scientists, including a University of Hawai’i computer science professor, will look for the answer this summer in the Canadian Arctic.
From May to August, they will hole up in a futuristic-looking research station on Devon Island, an uninhabited wasteland 900 miles from the North Pole. When they walk outside into below-zero temperatures, they will wear space suits. Their research will mimic what scientists on Mars would likely study โ€” climate, topography and daily changes in temperature.
But most importantly, they will experience the hardships of a not-so-simulated isolation, miles away from anything resembling civilization: They will eat freeze-dried or canned food, strictly ration their water intake, and follow a strict routine of work, exercise and rest.

May 31st, 2005

Olivine on Mars found in vast area The Honolulu Advertiser

A study co-authored by a University of Hawai’i professor has concluded that an area of Mars has much larger than believed deposits of the mineral olivine, offering clues about water

May 14th, 2002

Hawaii grads plan Mars veggies The Honolulu Advertiser

Two Hawai’i students who met as dueling eighth-graders in the National Spelling Bee five years ago are working together as Massachusetts college students to grow vegetables on Mars. For the past few months, Cheryl Inouye and Nicole Hori have been on a team of students from the Olin College of Engineering in Massachusetts, wrestling with how to set up a functional, automated greenhouse to provide fresh salad for future astronauts on the Red Planet. It’s part of a national NASA competition that asked college engineering students across the country to submit designs for a greenhouse in space that would function for 20 years.

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