Mars- Roman God of War

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Because of its blood-red color (which comes from iron-rich dust), this planet was named for Mars, the Roman god of war. Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun, situated between Earth and Jupiter. Three-quarters red, Mars also has dark blotches on it and white areas at the poles—these are white polar ice caps.

  • Size: About one-half the size of Earth in diameter
  • Surface: Canyons, dunes, volcanoes, and polar caps of water ice and carbon dioxide ice
  • Diameter: 4,194 miles (6,794 km)
  • Atmosphere: carbon dioxide (95%)
  • Temperature: as low as –305°F (–187°C)
  • Rotation of its axis: 24 Earth hours, 37 minutes, 23 seconds
  • Rotation around the Sun: 687 Earth days
  • Your weight: If you weigh 100 pounds on Earth, you would weigh 38 pounds on Mars.
  • Distance from Earth: 35 million miles (56 million km) at the closest point in its orbit
  • Mean Distance from Sun:141.71 million miles (227.9 million km)
  • Satellites: 2
  • Rings: 0

Mars, or the ‘Red Planet’ as it is sometimes known, has a dusty, rocky surface and a thin atmosphere. Its relatively calm conditions and close proximity to earth make it the most likely destination for future planet exploration by humans.

It has already been visited by a number of Mars Rovers in successful (and unsuccessful) robotic missions. These highly advanced robots gather samples and record important scientific data for scientists back on Earth to study.

  • Mars is nicknamed the red planet because it is covered with rust-like dust. Even the atmosphere is a pinkish red, colored by tiny particles of dust thrown up from the surface.
  • Mars experiences violent dust storms which continually change its surface.
  • Mars has many massive volcanoes and is home to Olympus Mons, the largest volcano in our solar system, it stands 21km high and is 600km across the base.
  • Mars has a very thin atmosphere made mostly of carbon dioxide. It is not thick enough to trap the sun’s heat like Venus, so the planet is very cold. Temperatures range from -120 Degrees Celsius on winter nights to 25 Degrees Celsius in the summer.
  • Mars has many channels, plains and canyons on the surface which could have been caused by water erosion in the past.
  • Mars has very weak gravity which cannot hold onto the atmosphere well.
  • The polar ice caps consist of frozen Co2 (dry ice) which lies over a layer of ice

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