Red Planet Day

Red Planet Day is a holiday that falls on November 28th annually and recognizes the planet Mars—otherwise known as the Red Planet. For hundreds of years before the invention of the telescope, humans have watched this little red dot of light in their evening sky with wonder and sometimes fear.

Mars is a planet that has been written about for over 4,000 years and continues to this day to capture the public’s imagination. And since the day on which people are going to eventually colonize the Red Planet is drawing nearer and nearer, this is probably a good holiday for everyone to think about celebrating.

The History of Red Planet Day

Red Planet Day was created as a holiday by NASA after Mariner 4 was launched on its journey towards Mars on November 28, 1964. It took eight months for Mariner 4 to make its first flyby of the Red Planet on July 14, 1965. It then collected the first close-up photographs taken of another planet. For the following three years, Mariner 4 was able to function in solar orbit, studying the solar winds.

Interesting Facts About Mars

We’ve gathered up some fun, interesting facts about Mars that we feel everyone reading about Red Planet Day is going to want to read. So without further ado, let’s check out some Red Planet factoids.

  • Mars is named after the Roman god of war.
  • Mars is red because it has a large amount of iron oxide in its soil and rocks.
  • Mars has a diameter of approximately 6,791 kilometers.
  • Due to its reduced gravity, people can jump three times higher on Mars than on Earth.
  • Mars has two moons—They’re named Deimos and Phobos.
  • In about 30 to 50 million years, Phobos is going to either be torn apart by Mars’ gravity or it’s going to crash into the planet.
  • Mars has an average temperature of -50 degrees Fahrenheit (-45.55 degrees Celsius).
  • Mars has methane in its atmosphere. This can be either due to biological activity or geologic activity. At this point, scientists don’t know which.
  • Mars currently has 6 active man-made satellites circling around it.

Observing Red Planet Day on Earth

Regardless of whether a person is a fan of astronomy or not, they should take time out of the busy holiday season to enjoy this day. They can do this by learning about Mars or learning more about NASA’s continuing quest to put people on Mars. Of course, NASA isn’t the only one working towards the eventual human occupation of Mars.

So people should get out there and learn more about these projects. While they’re doing so, they should make sure to also use the hashtag #RedPlanetDay to spread the word about this holiday far and wide. It’s also a good day to watch some movies about Mars such as “The Martian,” “John Carter,” “Total Recall,” “Red Planet,” and “Ghosts of Mars.”

When is it?
This year (2024)
November 28 Thursday
Next year (2025)
November 28 Friday
Last year (2023)
November 28 Tuesday
Nature & Environment