100 Facts About Mars

Mars remains an intriguing planet that continues to captivate human imaginations, from H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds novella to blockbuster movies about it being explored further.

Mars, commonly referred to as The Red Planet due to its red hue caused by iron oxide (rust), has an average day length of 24.6 hours while one year lasts 687 Earth days. Home to three times taller mountain Olympus Mons than Mt Everest!

1. It has four seasons

Like Earth, Mars features four seasons: winter, spring, summer and autumn. These variations result from its tilted axis and an elliptical orbit; when closer to the sun than other times (perihelion), while when farther from it (aphelion).

Mars seasons resemble those on Earth in that they last about twice as long, due to an almost twice-longer year than Earth. Spring, which lasts 194 days on Mars, and autumn are its respective shorter ones with climate variations depending on season – southern areas can experience high heat in summer while northern regions experience very cold winter weather.

Mars’ carbon dioxide-ice polar caps shift with the seasons, shrinking and growing with summer melt and winter’s CO2 condensate into CO2 snowfall. There have been occasional dust storms as well.

Mars’ thin atmosphere doesn’t retain heat overnight, leading it to become cold in the evening before warming back up during the day and creating wide temperature variations throughout the day – hence why Mars offers such diverse weather.

2. It has a thin atmosphere

Mars’ atmosphere is extremely thin and contains only a fraction of what we have here on Earth, without an atmosphere-protecting layer to shield its soil from ultraviolet radiation that is capable of dissolving organic molecules that might exist therein. Thus making life very hard to sustain on this world.

Mars’ atmosphere consists of mostly carbon dioxide with small amounts of nitrogen and argon; water vapor and other gases also play a part. Its surface features canyons, volcanoes and impact craters as well as red dust storms created by wind blowing through iron oxide dust particles; sometimes wind blows the dust into huge tornado-like storms which cover most of Mars! Due to much lower gravity on Mars than on Earth, things drop slower on its surface – an individual weighing 100 pounds would only weigh 38 pounds due to gravity on Mars! This also means if someone weighing 100 pounds on Earth would only weigh 38 pounds on Mars due to gravity difference!

As Earth, Mars also experiences seasons. A year on Mars lasts slightly longer due to its egg-shaped orbit around the Sun; each Martian season consists of spring in the northern hemisphere and autumn in the southern. Summer lasts 194 sols (Martian days).

Scientists theorize that Mars was once covered with liquid water 3.5 billion years ago, as evidenced by orbital images showing vast river plains and ocean boundaries. Unfortunately, its thin atmosphere prevents liquid water from remaining liquid on its surface; however, some form of frozen form may exist within its polar caps.

3. It has two moons

Phobos and Deimos were discovered by American astronomer Asaph Hall in 1877. Although oddly-shaped like asteroids, Phobos and Deimos remain tidally locked to Mars so that they always face forwards towards its surface. Their origin remains unknown but some scientists speculate that it may have resulted from collision between Mars and another object such as Earth resulting in collision between these moons and an external body like an asteroidal parent body causing their formation.

Mars is an intriguing planet with its canyons, mountains, polar ice caps and shifting seasons that has provided the backdrop for numerous movies and books such as H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds and The Martian. Mars boasts one of the highest volcanoes in its solar system in Olympus Mons – almost three times taller than Mt Everest!

Mars can be extremely windy and dust storms can cover its entire surface, making it hard for human beings to see the landscape clearly. There is also 60 percent less gravity on Mars compared to Earth, making walking on it quite an exhilarating experience.

Mars’ elliptical orbit makes its seasons longer than on Earth, creating short summers and cold winters at close proximity, while farther out it has short warm summers followed by long, harsh winters for its southern hemisphere. Furthermore, due to this extreme cycle, many more craters cover its surface than on any other planet.

4. It has a red color

Mars, commonly referred to as the Red Planet, gets its signature hue from iron in its rock and dust surfaces that oxidize in its atmosphere, like rust on an old bike. While from far away it appears reddish-brown in coloration, up close it displays many shades depending on which minerals are present – some rocks might be golden brown while others tan or even green depending on weather patterns and availability of light sources.

Dust storms on Mars can cover its entire planet, giving it an appearance of red from far away. These duststorms are caused by winds reaching 60 miles per hour and often visible from space – they often last for days! Additionally, Mars experiences two seasons, spring in its northern hemisphere and autumn in its southern.

Scientists speculate that in its earlier days, Mars may have resembled Earth more closely; with large bodies of water and thicker atmosphere. There may have also been volcanoes active there and active life. When atmospheric levels receded and volcanic activity ended, wind-based erosion took over and left behind its signature red surface today.

Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun and takes approximately eight months for us to get there from Earth. It features two moons named Deimos and Phobos after horses that pulled the Roman god of war’s chariot. Hellas Planitia Crater and Valles Marineris canyon can also be found there; although no humans have set foot there yet. But NASA has successfully sent five rovers there already!

5. It has a volcano

Mars stands out with its distinctive hue and long distance from Earth, making it easily visible with naked eye. It looks like a red dot in the night sky. Furthermore, Mars is well known for appearing regularly in literature, movies, and popular culture.

Mars once had thicker atmosphere, magnetic fields, and liquid water; however, over time these features have vanished over time. But not to worry: new research shows that Mars might still be volcanically active today!

Olympus Mons is the Earth’s tallest volcano, towering three times higher than Mount Everest. As a shield volcano, rather than violently spewing out lava into the air over millions of years, its magma slowly pooled upon itself for millions of years and slowly flowed over its surface over time – giving rise to low and squat mountains rather than tall jagged ones typically associated with volcanic activity on Earth.

Olympus Mons is encircled by a rim containing channels that appear to be made by flowing water, prompting scientists to study this area as it might provide clues into its history on Mars.

Researchers believe the presence of water-bearing minerals on Mars is indicative of its past climate being thicker, with natural causes rather than human activities being the culprit in its current thin atmosphere.

In 2022, NASA is expected to send another Mars rover that will explore its polar caps for signs that liquid water once existed on Mars – something which could help determine whether life ever developed there or not. This would be a landmark discovery that would provide scientists with more clues as to whether life ever did indeed arise on this distant world.

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