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Man and Mars through history

A look back over centuries at man's attempt to uncover information about the 'Red Planet.'

Sources: NASA, American Museum of Natural History, and Scientific American

- Staff

In an image that scientists call the sharpest image ever made from Earth, the planet Mars is seen as a dynamic planet covered by frosty white water ice clouds and swirling orange dust storms above a vivid rusty landscape, in this view made by the Earth-orbiting Hubble Space Telescope on June 26, 2001. (NASA-Hubble Heritage Team/AP)

2000 BC

As early as the 2nd millennium BC, the Babylonians made reference to Mars, which was identified with the god of war and destruction, Nergal. Later, the Greeks named it Ares after their god of war, while the Romans identified it with a warrior deity, too – Mars.


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