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Planet Facts: Mars

Taking up the fourth position from the Sun in the Solar System, Mars is the planet named after the Roman god of war. In many texts, the planet is also referred to as the “Red Planet” because when seen from Earth, it has a reddish appearance. The terrestrial planet of Mars possesses a thin atmosphere with surface characteristics that includes impact craters like the Moon and polar ice caps, deserts, valley, and volcanoes like Earth.

Mars offers an array of geographical features, such as the highest known mountains in the solar system (called Olympus Mons). The largest canyon is also found on Mars, which is called Valles Marineris. The planet also shares other similarities to Earth, including a rotational period and seasonal cycles. To learn a bit more about the Red Planet, browse the following facts regarding Mars:

1) When it comes to all of the planets within the Solar System, Mars is the one that most people feel is most likely to sustain or used to sustain life. In 1900, a prize was being offered to the first individual to come in contact with a being from space. However, it was stated that the space being could not come from Mars as this would make the contest too easy.

2) In 1938, when a radio broadcast of War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells was told, the tale about the invasion on Earth by aliens was too much for the American public to swallow and became panicked that the story was actually the truth.

3) Just like Earth, Mars is home to polar caps, which contain frozen carbon dioxide and a little bit of water.

4) When it comes to the status of how long Mars has been considered a “dead” planet, researchers count the number of meteorite impacts that have made contact with the surface. In comparison, Earth and Venus have fewer impact crates because they are shaped by newer surfaces that have been established by geological activity that has occurred of recent.

5) It is thought that Mars had water flowing about it like the Earth. While it is believed that the planet offered blue skies as well, it is  not as likely that trees, plants, and grass were part of its makeup.
 
6) The greatest gorge found on any of the planets in the Solar System is called the Valles Marineris, which is a product of volcanoes that erupted and then ripped through the land, leaving behind a deep valley.

7) Like the Earth, Mars has its fair share of seasons, which comes as a result to the tilt in the planet’s axis.

8) When viewing the Sun from Mars, it appears half the size as it does when looking from the Earth.

9) On Earth, rocks that originated on Mars have been found , the result of meteorite impacts of debris through space.