Fun Facts About Mars Planet Mars • Fourth planet from the Sun • One of Earth’s next door neighbors • 4.6 billion yrs old • Smaller and less dense than Earth • Reddish dust covers most of the planet’s surface • Has the largest volcanoes in the solar system http://www.usm.maine.edu/planet/Donorvessel.html By: Melissa Neal October 5, 2010 http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Earth_Mars_Comparison.jpg http://whyfiles.org/194spa_travel/2.html http://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/2009/11/why_look_for_life_on_mars.php
Orbit & Rotation: Like the other planets in the solar system, Mars travels around the sun in an elliptical (oval) orbit. But the orbit of Mars is slightly more "stretched out" than the orbits of Earth and most of the other planets. Mars travels around the sun once every 687 Earth days; this is the length of the Martian year. Why would you want to visit? Where to go next?Solar System (quick review) • To see some really big volcanoes • To see what it’s like when you travel further from the sun • To find out if Martians really exist • Mercury • Venus • Earth • Mars • Jupiter • Saturn • Uranus • Neptune Mass & Density: Earth is about 10 times as massive as Mars. Mars's density is almost 70 percent of the density of Earth. The force of gravity is much less than that on Earth. For example, if someone dropped a rock, the rock would fall to the surface more slowly than the same rock would fall to Earth. Physical Features: Scientists suspect that the average thickness of the Martian crust is about 30 miles! The mantle of Mars is probably similar in to Earth's mantle. The average temperature of the Martian mantle may be roughly 2700 degrees F. Unlike Earth's core, the core of Mars probably is solid. http://www.myddnetwork.com/tech-money/an-image-of-life-on-mars-or-just-our-imagination/ What you would learn: Surface Features: Mars has many surface features that are common on Earth. These include plains, canyons, volcanoes, valleys, gullies, and polar ice. However, there are craters throughout the surface of Mars, while they are rare on Earth. In addition, fine-grained reddish dust covers almost all the Martian surface. • It’s basically impossible to breathe there and so you’d need to bring an oxygen tank. • Instead of seeing green and blue, like we do here, you’d see red everywhere. • There is a lot less gravity there and so you’d float around in the air instead of walk on the ground. Atmosphere: The atmosphere of Mars contains much less oxygen (O2) than that of Earth. Clouds, haze, and fog composed of particles of water ice are common also.