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Mars (planet)

symbol: 25px-Mars_symbol.svg.png

In astronomy, Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun in the Solar System. It has been known since ancient times for its distinct red colour in the night sky. This red colour reminded the ancients of a spot of red blood, and blood often was the result of conflict, hence the association with the Mars the Roman God of war. It is also sometimes known simply as the Red Planet.


An image of Mars taken by the Mars Global Surveyor Orbiter spacecraft showing clouds and surface landscape features. image: NASA/JPL/MSSS 

It is also known for having one of the largest canyon rift valleys in the Solar System called Valles Marineris. It also has the highest mountain in the Solar system called Olympus Mons.


Comparison of Earth and Mars to scale. Image: Earth: NASA/Apollo 17 crew Mars: ESA/MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/RSSD/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA/wikipedia

Orbit basics:

  • Distance from sun: between 206,669,000 and 249,209,300 km
  • Orbital period (it's year):  686.971 Earth days about 1.8 Earth Years
  • Moons(Natural Satellites):
  • 2: Phobos, Deimos. Most likely captured asteroids.

Planet basics:

  • Type of planet: The original rocky/terrestrial type
  • Length of day: 24.622 9 hours
  • Average radius: 3,396.2 ± 0.1 km
  • Mass: 6.4185×1023 kg or 0.107 Earths
  • Surface gravity: 0.376 g about 3.72076 m/s2
  • Surface temperature: ranges −143 °C to −63 °C (mean) to +5 °C to occasionally 35°C
  • Atmosphere: Thin, dusty
  • Pressure: 0.006 bar or 0.6 kPa (average)
  • Atmospheric composition: 
  • 95.32% carbon dioxide
  • 2.7% nitrogen
  • 1.6% argon
  • 0.13% oxygen
  • 0.08% carbon monoxide
  • 210 ppm water vapour
  • trace amounts of methane