Hennessey Public Library takes children on a mission to Mars

Hennessey Public Library took children on a mission to Mars for their summer reading program, Monday, June 24.

The children were amazed to see Astronomer Joe Malan hold up a baggie of red dirt “from Mars”, as he told them he traveled to the planet the weekend before. However, they later denounced his claim and pointed out that the dirt in his hand was simply dirt from outside.

Despite this turn of events, the children continued to eagerly listen as Malan taught them all about the Red Planet. Reputedly named for the Roman god of war, Malan told the children that the planet was red because it is covered by iron oxide, which he explained is basically rust. When the soil mixes with the atmosphere, it makes the planet appear red in color.

The lessons included asking the children many questions, and those in attendance had many of the answers. When comparing Earth’s atmosphere to that of Mars, the answers came quickly, with some stating that Earth’s atmosphere was made up of oxygen and nitrogen, while Mars’ atmosphere is carbon dioxide. Malan added to this by stating that Mars also has a “pinch” of oxygen and a small amount of nitrogen.

 

 

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