Mars Facts

Mars Facts
Mars is the second smallest planet (Mercury is the smallest) in our solar system, and the fourth planet from the sun. Because of its reddish color, it is sometimes called the Red Planet. Mars was named after the Roman god of war. Mars is the only planet in our solar system that ha surface details visible from earth. These surface details include volcanoes, deserts, valleys and even polar ice caps. Mars was first recorded in the 2nd millennium BC. As far back as 1534 BCE, ancient Egyptian astronomers were recording observation of Mars as it wandered in the night sky.
Interesting Mars Facts:
The Egyptians called Mars 'Her Desher', which means 'the red one'.
Chinese astronomers called Mars 'the fire star'.
The ancient Greeks called Mars 'Ares'.
Galileo Galilei was the first person to view Mars with a telescope.
Mars appears to be red because of the high level of iron in the soil, giving it a rusty hue.
Mars weighs 641,693,000,000,000 billion kg. This is equal to 0.107 times earth's mass.
Mars' circumference is 21,297 km.
An object weighing one hundred pounds on earth would weigh 38 pounds on Mars.
It takes Mars 687 earth days to orbit the sun.
One day on Mars is approximately one half hour longer than one day on earth.
Most of Mars' atmosphere consists of carbon dioxide.
The tallest volcano in our solar system is 15 miles high and is located on Mars. Its name is Olympus Mons. It is three times as tall as Mount Everest.
Mars has seasons similar to those on earth.
On Mars, there are poles like our north and south poles. They are covered in ice and the ice gets thicker in the winter.
Although there is no surface water on Mars now, the valleys and canyons on the planet suggest that there once was surface water like there is on earth.
Because of the lack of atmospheric pressure, water can't exist in a liquid form. It can exist in a gaseous state.
Mars has two moons, and one, Phobos, is slowly moving towards Mars. It is believed that one day it will hit Mars.
The average temperature on Mars is -60 degrees Celsius, but they vary much more at the poles and equator, much like on earth.
When a dust storm occurs on Mars it can cover the entire planet and last for months.
There have been many spacecraft sent to Mars by various countries, including Japan, the U.S., Europe and the Soviet Union.
In total there have been 39 Mars missions (not including flybys), the first being Marsnik 1, sent by the USSR in 1960. Only 16 of these missions have been successful.
The first successful Mars landing occurred in 1976 when NASAs Viking 1 landed and took photos of the planet's surface.
Many scientific experiments have been done to determine if there is life on Mars. There is still no proof of life, but many believe there is a good possibility that there was once life on Mars.
Pieces of Mars have been found on earth, blasted from Mars during cosmic events.
Some believe that there is life on Mars today.

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