Mars 2020

• James Hedberg

Another rover is set to land today, Feb 18, on Mars. Its future home will be Jezero Crater, an area with features suggesting it was an ancient martian lake.

Jezero Crater
A rendering of Jezero Crater [CC-BY: J.Hedberg/CCNYPlanetarium]

It took about 216 Earth days for the rover make its way across a small part of the solar system. Here’s the trajectory that took it from Earth to Mars.

What would the Martians see, had they been watching Earth during the last year? On July 30th last summer, they would have seen a small object leave Earth and get closer and closer to Mars. Something like the following:

Here’s a quick video showing some of the interesting features in the crater. We’ll get much better images soon, but these are still pretty good and give a feel for the rovers new home. They are made using the topographic from the HiRISE mission.

We’ll see what the rover finds shortly.

Coloring Pages

Here’s a few pages you can print out and color on. All images are made with real topographic data from the HiRISE mission. We recommend the red crayon.

Download PDF of Mars 2020 Coloring Pages

Coloring Pages
Draw some Mars!

Cut and Draw Layers

If you’re feeling more adventurous and have access to a cutting/drawing machine, here are two layers you can use to make a little cutout of the rover.

Cut and Draw Layers for Perseverance

cricut rover

Coloring Pages
At sunset, who's ever hanging out in the crater might witness something like this.

About the author

Dr. Hedberg studied the ancient cosmologies of Ptolemy, Tycho, and Kepler as an undergrad at St. John’s College (Santa Fe) as part of the Program’s Mathematics tutorial, though the college didn’t have this beautiful tool when he attended there. Since then, his work in programming and science visualization sometimes takes delightful detours into the past, present and future.

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