Facts About Mars
interest in the exploration and examination of the planet Mars
by scientists and NASA has sparked an active public interest
in the planet. Below is a list of interesting facts about Mars,
its moons, and the red planet's relation to our home, Earth.
Interesting Facts About Mars
- Mars is the fourth
planet from the sun.
- Mars is the seventh largest planet in our
- Mars is referred to as the Red Planet, due to
its red soil made up of iron oxide, more commonly known as
- Mars is named after the Roman god of war.
Statistics on Mars
- The equatorial radius of Mars
is 3,397 km.
- The diameter of Mars measures 6,794 km.
- The mass of Mars is
- Surface temperature on Mars
can range from the maximum of 310 K to a minimum of 150 K.
components on Mars consists of 95% carbon dioxide, 3% nitrogen,
- Recently, scientists discovered
enough water ice just under the surface of Mars to fill lake
- Due to its
dry and dusty surface, dust storms have been known to cover
planet at times.
- Mars is home to Olympus Mons, perhaps one
of the largest volcanoes in our solar system. Olympus Mons
is three times taller than
Mount Everest and as wide as the state of New Mexico.
Marineris is a canyon on Mars that is about as long as the
United States of America is wide.
About Mars’ Moons
- Mars has two moons.
Both were discovered by Asaph Hall in 1877 after a long and frustrating
search for Martian moons.
moons are Deimos and Phobos.
- It is possible
that the two moons may actually be asteroids caught in Mars’ gravity.
a close examination by NASA’s Mariner 9 spacecraft,
it was found that Phobos had a crater about 10 km (about 6 miles)
wide. The crater was named after Hall’s wife’s maiden
to NASA, “Mars'
moons are among the smallest in the solar system. Phobos is
a bit larger than
only 6,000 km (3,700 miles) above the Martian surface. No known
moon orbits closer to its planet. It whips around Mars three
times a day, while the more distant Deimos takes 30 hours for
Phobos is gradually spiraling inward, drawing about 1.8 meters
closer to the planet each century. Within 50 million years, it
will either crash into Mars or break up and form a ring around
Facts about Mars in Comparison to Earth
- Mars is
further away from the sun than Earth. Mars’ average
distance from the sun is 142 million miles while Earth’s
average distance from the sun is only 93 million miles.
is slower to orbit the sun, traveling at a speed of 14.5 miles
per second versus Earth’s 18.5 miles per second.
- The temperature
on Mars is much colder than Earth. The average Mars temperature
is –87 degrees F with Earth’s average
temperature being 57 degrees F.
- A year on
Mars (i.e. how long it takes for Mars to orbit around the sun)
versus Earth’s 365 days per
year while a day on Mars is equivalent to 1.026 Earth days.
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