Tag Archives: MARS

A history of listening to Mars

(Source: Atlas Obscura via William McFadden)

When the red planet comes close to Earth, some people have tried to tune in to see if it has anything to say.

ON RECENT EVENINGS, AS JULY has melted into August, Earth’s rocky red companion has dropped by for a visit. Earth and Mars, when they’re on opposite sides of the Sun, can be as many as 250 million miles apart. This week, however, Mars has been just shy of 36 million miles from Earth, the snuggest our planets have been since 2003. Looming bright and orange in the night sky, it has been easily visible to the naked eye. The close-up comes courtesy of opposition—the point at which Mars, Earth, and the Sun align, with us sandwiched in the middle.

When the planets approached a similarly cozy distance 94 years ago, in August 1924, some people, including Curtis D. Wilbur, the Secretary of the U.S. Navy, thought it might be possible to actually hear messages from our neighbor. If Martians were ever going to drop us a line, they suspected, that’d be the time.

From an office in Washington, D.C., Wilbur’s department sent orders to every naval station clear across the country. An outpost in Seattle received a telegram asking operators to keep their ears tuned to anything unusual or, maybe, otherworldly.

“Navy desires [sic] cooperate [sic] astronomers who believe [sic] possible that Mars may attempt communication by radio waves with this planet while they are near together,” it read. “All shore radio stations will especially note and report any electrical phenomenon [sic] unusual character …” The orders asked for operators to keep the lines open and carefully manned between August 21 and August 24, just in case.

NATIONAL ARCHIVES/596070

This request didn’t come out of nowhere. There was a long buildup to the idea that Mars might be trying to tell us something, with technologies that were then new to us.[…]

Click here to read this article at Atlas Obscura.

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Skov notes possible role of amateur radio tech with Mars OTH communications

(Source: Southgate ARC)

Over-the-horizon communication on Mars

ARRL highlights a post by The Space Weather Woman, Dr. Tamitha Skov, that notes the role amateur radio technology could play in over-the-horizon radio communications on Mars

I am still smiling at the huge response I got to a post I put up on Twitter this week. A newbie to our Space Weather community dared to talk about Amateur Radio as if it were an outdated hobby– whoops, bad idea. I gently educated him.
In doing so, I roused many radio amateurs and emergency communicators, who added their own comments and talked about their own personal experiences in the field. It was very gratifying.

What I hadn’t expected, however, was the strong interest in the concept that amateur radio will be critical to establishing over-the-horizon radio communications on planets like Mars in the near future.

This idea brings me back to how we managed to communicate over long distances many decades before we had satellites, internet or cellular networks. In terms of wireless communications on Earth, we were very much in the same place back in the early 1900s that we find ourselves in now when we think about colonizing Mars.
Yet few people realize that despite all our advanced technology, we can’t bring a cell phone to Mars. We will need to fall back on our ‘old ways’ of doing things when it comes to communicating on other planets. Isn’t it funny how ‘old’ things become ‘new’ again?

Source ARRL
http://www.arrl.org/news/the-k7ra-solar-update-527

Space Weather Woman
http://www.spaceweatherwoman.com/
https://twitter.com/TamithaSkov

Dr. Tamitha Skov’s latest video report:

Click here to view on YouTube.

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This weekend: MARS communication exercise

Hammarlund-HQ-120X-DialLightMany thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dan (K2DLS), who writes:

There is a MARS communication exercise taking place this weekend. As
part of the exercise, a MARS station on the east and west coasts will
broadcast a bulletin which will be verified by a QSL.

Please see the notice below:
A HIGH POWER 60 METER BROADCAST WILL BE MADE TO THE AMATEUR RADIO
COMMUNITY THIS SUNDAY 30 OCT AT 2300 HOURS ON 5330.5 USB (60 M). IT
WILL REPEATEDLY RUN A 5 MINUTE BROADCAST FOR AN HOUR ALTERNATING
BETWEEN AN EAST COAST AND WEST COAST STATION. THE BROADCAST WILL
INSTRUCT AMATEUR RADIO STATIONS TO MAKE CONTACT WITH A MARS STATIONS ON
60 METER CHANNELS (INCLUDING 5330.5 USB) AND REPORT LOCAL CONDITIONS.
AMATEUR RADIO OPERATORS WHO RECEIVE THE HIGH POWER 60 METER BROADCAST
WILL ALSO RECEIVE A QSL CARD BY ENTERING A RECEPTION REPORT ON THE
WWW.USARMYMARS.ORG WEBSITE.

Carver W2TFM
MARS Region 2 (NY & NJ) Director, AAA2RD
——–

73, Dan

VEry cool! Thank you, Dan!

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