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

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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Driving Distances on Mars and the Moon: Out-of-This-World-Records

This chart, prepared by NASA illustrates comparisons among the driving distances by various wheeled vehicles on the surface of the planetary bodies other than Earth (as of February 13, 2019, only the moon and Mars). Opportunity rover, which declared dead after record-breaking 15-years on the Martian surface also holds the off-Earth roving distance record after accruing 45.16 kilometers (28.06 miles) of driving on Mars.

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Opportunity Rover’s first and last images from the Martian surface

The first and the last images of NASA’s Opportunity rover from the Martian surface. The first photo (on the left) was acquired on Sol 1 (at approximately 14:58:27 Mars local solar time on January 25, 2004). The last photo (on the right) was taken on Sol 5111 (on June 10, 2018 ), before the rover entered hibernation due to a huge dust storm.

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Solar Panels work by absorbing LIGHT from the sun, not heat

Ignorance is a very, very bad thing. Last week, as North America suffering from extreme cold weather because of a phenomenon called “polar vortex“, Jim Hoft, founder of the American far-right news and opinion website The Gateway Pundit has tweeted that: “It’s a bit cold outside this morning in middle America… Aren’t you glad you aren’t heating your home with a solar panel like nitwit socialist @AOC is demanding?” (@AOC is the American politician and activist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez here.) What Jim Hoft says is flat-out wrong. Solar panels DO work in the cold. They work by absorbing LIGHT from the sun, not heat.

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