For years, scientists have been scanning the frigid surface of Winnipeg for signs of life.
Er, Winnipeg, Mars that is. A portion of the red planet was recently named after one of Canada’s chilliest cities. It’s fitting since it was as cold on Mars as it was in “Winterpeg” pretty recently. So now when people complain about it being cold in Manitoba’s capital you can reply to them, coyly, “Winnipeg, Manitoba or Winnipeg, Mars?”
That joke will never get old, folks. Never.
NASA released the big news last week as part of an update for its Curiosity Mission. Winnipeg is considered a “target” on Mars, which is the term for a small area that its rover will examine in detail before beaming whatever information it collects back to Earth.
“[The rover has been] looking for water, essentially, evidence of past life and things like that. So Winnipeg is one of those spots along that scientific journey,” Scott Young, an astronomer with the Manitoba Museum, told CTV News.
While there’s no confirmation that the name Winnipeg was chosen because of its space-like temperatures, we can’t think of any other reason they would’ve chosen it. The funny part is, on some mornings, it will actually be warmer in Winnipeg, Mars than in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Except you still can’t live there because, well, oxygen.
In related news, however, NASA confirmed that it plans on launching its first manned mission to mars in the 2030s. And Winnipeg wouldn’t be the only familiar name to greet us over there: The Curiosity Rover’s landing area was named after Yellowknife.
Something tells us we’d get along just fine over there.