Interesting Facts about Mars
Are you interested in astronomy, and would like to know some interesting facts about Mars? Mars, along with Jupiter and the other planets in space, is a fascinating planet with many great trivia to learn.
Interesting Facts about Mars
Mars is the fourth planet away from the Sun in our Solar System. It was named after one of the Roman god, specifically the Roman god of war. Mars is frequently referred to as the “Red Planet,” due to the red appearance of the planet. However, let’s learn some more interesting facts about Mars!
- The total surface of Mars is less than the total area dry land on Earth. The surface of Mars is primarily composed of basalt, and most of the surface is covered by iron (III) oxide dust. Iron (III) oxide is also known as rust.
- The planet’s red coloring is caused by this iron (III) oxide. The soil of Mars is composed of a number of different nutrient, such as magnesium, sodium, potassium, and chloride.
- After scientists compared the soil on Mars’ north pole with soil from backyard gardens on Earth, it was determined that plants actually could be grown in Martian soil. Martian soil is more basic than acidic, and has a base level of 8.3.
- Due to Mars’ low atmospheric pressure, liquid water would be unable to exist on the surface of Mars. It might be able to exist at lower elevations for shorter periods of time, but it would most likely quickly freeze.
- A considerable amount of frozen water can be found throughout the planet. The two polar ice caps on the surface of Mars are largely composed of water. If these ice caps melted, the water would cover the entire planet at a depth of eleven meters.
- Some scientists hypothesize that a large amount of water is trapped underneath the cryosphere of Mars. It’s possible that liquid water was able to survive for longer periods of time in the planet’s earlier history.
- When the Valles Marineris formed earlier in the planet’s history, scientists think that a large amount of water was released.
- The climate of Mars is the closest to Earth’s climate of any planet in our Solar System. This is because the two planets have similar tilts in their rotational axes. The seasons of Mars, however, last twice as long as the seasons of Earth.
- Since Mars is further away from the Sun than Earth, the Martian year is also longer than an Earth year. This is because the orbit of Mars around the Sun takes longer. A Martian year is approximately twice the length of an Earth year.
- During the winter, the average surface temperature of Mars is negative 87 degrees Celsius, and during the summer, the average surface temperature of Mars might get as high as twenty degrees Celsius.
- The planet receives less sunlight than Earth because it is further away from the Sun, and receives approximately half the amount of sunlight that Earth receives. The solar day of Mars is quite close to the length of an Earth day. The solar day on Mars is 24 hours and a little more than 39 minutes.
The Great Red Spot
Did You Know?
Mars is smaller than Earth, and it is about half the radius of the Earth. It’s less dense than the planet Earth.
Mars is about fifteen percent of the Earth’s volume, and is about eleven percent of the mass of Earth.
The Moons of Mars
Still want some more interesting facts about Mars? Mars has two natural moons that orbit extremely close to the planet. These two planets are Phobos and Deimos. Scientists hypothesize that the two moons that orbit Mars were actually once asteroids, but this has yet to be proven. If you were to watch the moons from the surface of Mars, you would see that Phobos rises in the west and sets in the east. However, in approximately 11 hours, the moon rises again. Deimos rises in the east, but takes over two days to set in the west. It then takes another approximately two days to rise again.