Happy New Year

You might think I’m a bit behind the times/curve in wishing you a Happy New Year. After all, we celebrated that 37 days ago.

You might think I’m getting a bit ahead of the times/curve/myself in wishing you a Happy New Year. After all, we won’t celebrate the lunar New Year for another 5 days. (I’d say, “Out with the rat!” with more enthusiasm if I didn’t have to also say, “In with the bull!” If there’s one thing of which we do not need more at the moment or for the coming year, it’s bull.)

But this one time I am perfectly attuned with the calendar and with the cosmos, as it turns out, because I’m wishing you a Happy Martian New Year: The start of #36. Well, #36 as Earthlings count time and counting only since we bothered to do so, starting in 1955 (Earth time) (Gregorian calendar). As far as those-who-know know, Mars is actually older than the Earth.

Mars takes 687 (Earth) days to orbit the Sun, so we don’t get to celebrate a Martian New Year every (Earth) year). A la Michael Palin, astronomical concepts make my brain hurt. And the whole question of whether it’s the same time on Mars as on Earth — whether there is any “now” — well, that’s better left to others.

” . . .by the time the signal of Curiosity hitting the top of Mars’ atmosphere has reached Earth, everything will be over on Mars.” [Emily Lakdawalla] waves her hands vaguely. “According to some mythical simultaneity thing.”

She adds: “That sort of works if you don’t think about it too hard. That’s not the kind of stuff I like to do. I’m a geologist; I like physical objects.”

So let’s not think about it too hard, and just enjoy the moment.

Um, the Mars moment? I guess.

Oh drat.

Here’s a video on Mars wind, with good, non-intrusive commentary.

Here’s one that plays noise made by Perseverance, due to land on Mars on 18 Feb. As, you know, Earthlings refer to it.

Here’s a site about stuff to watch related to Perseverance’s landing.


This entry was posted in Appreciating Deeply, Laughing Frequently, New Perspectives, Through Space, You are Here and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Happy New Year

  1. Tom Watson says:

    Another piece for my education. I had no idea this was Martian New Year Day.
    And a very happy one to you too.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Tom – It’s amazing what you can find just sort of wandering around the internet. The next Martian New Year isn’t until (our) 2022, so we have a while to make our party plans.

  2. Tom Watson says:

    I’ll buy up some hats and streamers and be ready.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Tom – Sounds good. Year 37 (Mars) starts Dec 26, 2022. Mark your calendars: The party’s at Tom’s.

  3. I think we should enjoy every moment possible, by any calendar in any time zone (which are only conveniences, after all).

    Happy Day!

  4. You have returned me to my teen fascination with Robert Heinlein and other writers of early science fiction who drew on such confusing “what time is it in this nebula” concepts to impress me. I sometimes wonder if Perseverance (a symptom of autism, among other meanings) or any other space exploration would have happened if the Jules Vernes and Isaac Asimovs had turned their attention to some other fantasy form. I thought something similar today about George Orwell’s *1984* as I was reading about high-level surveillance systems already in use in major cities of the US and Europe. Evidently, Edward Snowden’s whistle blowing failed to deter US government systems he saw would undermine democracy. We have been enveloped in the future worlds of a very few novelists, as though the builders of spaceships and technology have no imaginations themselves. I suppose when I lift a glass to the Martians it will have to be a chartreuse, foaming liquid that changes colour as I inhale it. If the party is at Tom’s place and BYOB, I have my brewing work cut out for me.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Laurna – Interesting to speculate how much of what we see now is because of life imitating art, and how much is “just” the natural unfolding of trends seen by those early writers. I, too, spent many hours with Heinlein, Asimov, Clarke, Pournelle, Niven, Butler . . . As for the MNY37 party, I hope Tom has booked the party room in his condo. There’s sure to be a big demand that day.

  5. barbara carlson says:

    The second video of the sound of Perserverance on its way… that’s the sound of the heating/cooling system every motel room I’ve ever stayed in… but sometimes, if I’m lucky, every few random minutes the air vent in the corner of room will sound like somebody is dropping work boots down them. Hotels are subtler.

    We could celebrate with a Mars Bar moment. Frozen of course.

  6. Jim Taylor says:

    Interesting that we couldn’t hear the wind at its natural frequency. It had to be stepped up two octaves before we could hear it. I’ve heard something similar about how elephants communicate with each other, in Africa — frequencies too low for the human ear, but that other elephants can hear and understand, even over the horizon.
    Ellen Abrams has a whole chapter on human perception, as I recall — that there are only certain frequencies and sizes we can comprehend, given our physical dimensions. Therefore we assume that’s all there is.
    Jim T

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Jim T – Yes, it takes a leap of the imagination to even consider that there even are things outside our audible/visible range, and another one to credit other critters (or plants) with capabilities we lack.

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