Astro Bob: "the planets are all huddled around the Sun to keep warm" and Mars prepares for company

Feb 9, 2021

Roald Amundsen, Norwegian explorer, circa 1899
Credit National Library of Norway

Get out and do a little stargazing on these clear nights ... but dress appropriately. (Roald Amundsen had the right idea in this photo).

Meanwhile, Astro Bob King says "all the planets are gathered around the Sun to keep warm," which means we can't see them for a while, but Mars will be a hopping place for a bit.

Both the United Arab Emirates and Japan have launched spacecraft to the Red Planet and the US's Perseverance Rover will touch down February 18.

Credit UAE Space Agency

Here's a cool overview of the UAE's Hope Probe mission, and you can also read more about it here.

The UAE's Hope Probe is expected to arrive inMars' orbit today.

The first image of Mars returned by China's Tianwen-1 spacecraft
Credit China National Space Administration (CNSA)

China's Tianwen-1 consists of an orbiter, a lander and a rover. Tianwen-1 means "questions to heaven" and was taken from the title of a poem by Qu Yuan.

You can read more about the mission here.

Tianwen-1 is expected to arrive in Mars' orbit tomorrow.

Credit NASA

Finally, the US Perseverance is expected to land on Mars February 18th and you can even watch it online.

More information about the rover's mission to seek signs of ancient life and gather samples of rock and soil is available here.