Mars

Mars

Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun and the second-smallest planet in the Solar System after Mercury. It is named after the Roman god of war, and is often referred to as the “Red Planet” because the reddish iron oxide prevalent on its surface gives it a reddish appearance. Mars is one of the four terrestrial planets in the solar system, others being Mercury, Venus and Earth. It has a thin atmosphere. Scientists think the magnetosphere of Mars collapsed around 3.7 billion years ago, and it eventually lost its atmosphere. Now, Mars has a very thin atmosphere: the atmospheric pressure on the Martian surface averages 600 pascals (0.087 psi; 6.0 mbar), about only 0.6% of Earth’s mean sea level pressure of 101.3 kilopascals (14.69 psi; 1.013 bar).

The rotational period and seasonal cycles of Mars are likewise similar to those of Earth, as is the tilt that produces the seasons.

There are ongoing investigations assessing the past habitability potential of Mars, as well as the possibility of extant life. Future astrobiology missions are planned, including the Mars 2020 and ExoMars rovers. Liquid water cannot exist on the surface of Mars due to low atmospheric pressure, except at the lowest elevations for short periods.[ The two polar ice caps appear to be made largely of water. The volume of water ice in the south polar ice cap, if melted, would be sufficient to cover the entire planetary surface to a depth of 11 meters (36 ft). In November 2016, NASA reported finding a large amount of underground ice in the Utopia Planitia region of Mars. The volume of water detected has been estimated to be equivalent to the volume of water in Lake Superior.

Mars can easily be seen from Earth with the naked eye, as can its reddish coloring.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.