Last night, NASA’s Curiosity rover landed on the surface of Mars, beginning its year long exploration of the planet.
The Guardian has compiled a short history of Mars musing, which highlights scientists’ fascination with the planet. Since their first sightings in the 17th century, scientists argued about the planet’s capability for sustaining life:
“Lowell eventually ‘saw’ and published maps of not only canals but also vastly thick lines of cultivated vegetation, oases and cities, standing out against ‘one vast Sahara’. It was a vision of a drying, dying planet being managed by an advanced civilization.”
Today’s scientists are still just as excited by the planet, as shown by BoingBoing here.