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A Virtual Author Talk: For the Love of Mars

June 3 @ 2:00 pm


A Virtual Author Talk with Smithsonian Curator Matt Shindell, who wrote “For the Love of Mars.”

Mars and its secrets have fascinated and mystified humans since ancient times. Due to its vivid color and visibility, geologic kinship with Earth, and potential as our best hope for settlement, Mars embodies everything that inspires us about space and exploration. For the Love of Mars surveys the red planet’s place in the human imagination, beginning with ancient astrologers and skywatchers and ending in our present moment of exploration and virtual engagement.

You’re invited to come learn alongside Matt Shindell, National Air and Space Museum curator, as he introduces viewers to historical figures across eras and around the world who have made sense of this mysterious planet. Shindell will highlight historical figures such as:
1. Mayan astrologer priests who incorporated Mars into seasonal calendars and religious ceremonies;
2. Babylonian astrologers who discerned bad omens;
3. Figures of the Scientific Revolution who struggled to comprehend it as a world;
4. Victorian astronomers who sought signs of intelligent life; and
5. 20th- and 21st-century scientists who have established a technological presence on its surface.

Along the way, we will encounter writers and artists from each period who take readers and viewers on imagined journeys to Mars.

By focusing on the diverse human stories behind the telescopes and behind the robots we know and love, Shindell will show how Mars exploration has evolved in ways that have also expanded knowledge about other facets of the universe.


June 3
2:00 pm
Event Category:


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