Tag Archives: Mars

Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun and the second-smallest planet in the Solar System, after Mercury. Named after the Roman god of war, it is often referred to as the “Red Planet” because the iron oxide prevalent on its surface gives it a reddish appearance. Mars is a terrestrial planet with a thin atmosphere, having surface features reminiscent both of the impact craters of the Moon and the valleys, deserts, and polar ice caps of Earth.

Mars/Earth comparison:
Average Distance from Sun: 142 million miles (228.5 million km) / Earth: 93 million miles (150 million km)
Average Speed in Orbiting Sun: 14.5 miles per second (23.34 km per second) / Earth: 18.5 miles per second (29.77 km per second)
Diameter: 4,220 miles (6,791 km) / Earth: 7,926 miles (12,755 km)
Tilt of Axis: 25 degrees / Earth: 23.5 degrees
Length of Year: 687 Earth Days / Earth: 365.25 Days
Length of Day: 24 hours 37 minutes / Earth: 23 hours 56 minutes
Gravity: 0.375 that of Earth
Average Temperature: -81 degrees F (-62.78 degrees C) / Earth: 57 degrees F (13.88 degrees C)
Atmosphere: mostly carbon dioxide, some water vapor / Earth: nitrogen, oxygen, argon, others
Number of Moons: 2 / Earth: 1

The poles of Mars

The planet Mars has two permanent polar ice caps. During a pole’s winter, it lies in continuous darkness, chilling the surface and causing the deposition of 25–30% of the atmosphere into slabs of CO2 ice (dry ice). When the poles are again exposed to sunlight, the frozen CO2 sublimes, creating enormous winds that sweep off the poles as fast as 400 km/h. These seasonal actions transport large amounts of dust and water vapor, giving rise to Earth-like frost and large cirrus clouds. Clouds of water-ice were photographed by the Opportunity rover in 2004.
The caps at both poles consist primarily of water ice. Frozen carbon dioxide accumulates as a comparatively thin layer about one metre thick on the north cap in the northern winter only, while the south cap has a permanent dry ice cover about 8 m thick. Photo: windows2universe.org

How Earth Could Die – 9 Horrible Ways

Now we’re living on a warm, hospitable planet. As Carl Sagan has said “That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives.” We, humans, are the unquestionable rulers of our little oasis in a hostile universe. But all things must pass. The life on Earth, even the planet itself, won’t last forever. What’s more, the humans may go extinct before our planet (and probably before the life on it) dies out. Here some possible (and horrible) ways how planet Earth (or, at least, life on Earth) could die.

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Solar System through the eyes of Hubble Space Telescope

Hubble Space Telescope was launched on April 24, 1990, and entered service on May 20, 1990. Since then, it has observed all the planets in our Solar System, apart from Earth and Mercury. Earth is far better studied by geologists on the ground and specialized probes in orbit. Hubble can’t observe Mercury as it is too close to the Sun, whose brightness would damage the telescope’s sensitive instruments.

Here are the best images of the planets (except Earth and Mercury) and some non-planets of our Solar System through the eye of Hubble Space Telescope.

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Space exploration is still the brightest hope-bringer we have

Earle Kyle

I am one of the few African-American aerospace engineers who helped design the Apollo spaceships that took men to the Moon. My great-grandfather was a slave in Claiborne, Alabama, who used primitive tools to work the land. My father was born in Alabama before the Wright brothers made mankind’s first flight. He lived to see men walk on the Moon, twin robotic biology labs land on Mars, and a fleet of four space probes on their way to the stars. But many black people, like the late Reverend Ralph Abernathy, felt that the money used to make these amazing things happen would have been better spent on helping the poorest descendants of American slaves.

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Fly over Mount Sharp on Mars with this NASA video

NASA has published a video showing Curiosity Rover‘s (Mars Science Laboratory) proposed route on Mars’ Mount Sharp (Aeolis Mons), a mountain rising 5.5 km (18,000 ft) high from the valley floor. The animated video shows what it would be like to soar over Mount Sharp, officially Aeolis Mons, which the Curiosity has been climbing since 2014.

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InSight captures a sunrise, sunset, and clouds on Mars

NASA’s Mars InSight lander captured a series of sunrise, sunset, and clouds images. On April 24 and 25, 2019 (the 145th Martian day, or sol, of the mission), Instrument Deployment Camera (IDC) on the spacecraft’s robotic arm captured sunrise and sunsets. Another camera, called Instrument Context Camera (ICC) beneath the lander’s deck captured drifting clouds across the Martian sky at sunset.

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Opportunity Rover’s Parting Shot Was a Beautiful Mars Panorama

Before going silent due to a huge dust storm on June 10, 2018, NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity documented an amazing 360-degree panorama from multiple images taken at what would become its final resting spot in Perseverance Valley. The Mars rover collected these images over the course of 29 days.

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Watch: What happens to old spacecraft?

Since the launch of the first artificial Earth satellite, Sputnik 1, on October 4, 1957, we launched thousands of spacecraft into Earth orbit and beyond. A fraction of them are still functioning, but what happened to the vast majority of them? “The Curious Droid” published another informative video titled “What happens to old spacecraft?”

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