In our solar system, Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun, right after the Earth and it’s also the second-smallest planet, just bigger than Mercury planet. Do you want to know more great facts and information about Mars? Let’s scroll down to get them now.
The planet started to captivate astronomers way back in the prehistoric times.
Mars was already sighted by Egyptian astronomers during prehistoric times. These people already knew back then that Mars is a moving object beyond the skies. They were also able to record many observations about the behavior and positions of other heavenly bodies.
Due to Mars’ red color, people in ancient times associated it with blood and war.
Mars is named after the Roman god of war (Ares in Greek mythology). Since the planet appears red in color, many ancient people associated the color with blood; hence, the association with war.
Mars is more similar to earth than any other planet in the solar system.
Mars is smaller than Earth. Its diameter is approximately only half of Earth’s. Compared to Earth, it also has lesser density, volume, and mass.
Water does exist in Mars, albeit not in liquid form.
Water exists in Mars. However, it does not exist in liquid form but in solid state as water ice.
This is due to the atmospheric conditions and low temperature in Mars, where water cannot sustain being in fluid form. Water vapor also exists in small amounts in the atmosphere.
Mars’ atmosphere is made up of 95% carbon dioxide.
Mars’ atmosphere is so thin and is mostly made up of carbon dioxide. Humans definitely cannot breathe in Mars without the right space suit.
Also, the extremely low pressure and the absence of an ozone layer both make Mars an unsuitable place to live for humans.
Mars has four seasons like Earth does.
Mars, like earth, also has winter, spring, summer and fall. This is due to the similarity in both planets’ tilt of the rotation axis. The difference, however, is that each season in Mars lasts twice as long as that in Earth.
With the four seasons comes a wide range of temperature ups and downs.
Mars generally has a very cold temperature which could go down to –205° F in its winter season. However, the average temperature during summer is 72° F which is similar to summer temperatures in some places on Earth.
Mars has 24 hours in a day but 687 days in a year.
A day in Mars also lasts about 24 hours but a year lasts approximately 687 days — almost twice the Earth’s. The Martian year is equivalent to its orbital period around the sun. Mars is farther away from the sun that is why its orbital period is longer.
Mars is also home to the longest and deepest canyon in the entire solar system.
Valles Marineris on Mars is the longest and deepest canyon in the solar system. It is 4,000 km long (almost as long as the USA), 200 km wide at points, and up to 7 km deep. The network of interconnected valleys covers almost one-fourth of the planet’s circumference and more than half of its diameter.
The Mars symbol symbolizes the male gender.
This symbol, which is a circle with a tilting arrow to the upper right, is believed to represent the shield and spear of the war god Mars (Roman) / Ares (Greek).
Mars is a favorite subject in many fictional works.
Several science fiction movies, novels, short stories, television shows, comics, and even computer and video games are depicted on Mars. The Martian is one of the most illustrated science fiction characters. One example is Looney Tunes’ prominent character, Marvin the Martian.
Mars is the most studied planet.
This is due to Mars’ accessibility and proximity to Earth. Unlike the other planets whose surfaces are hidden by clouds, Mars does not have a cloud layer. The keen interest on Mars is also due to the preliminary hope of being able to discover life on the planet.
It takes approximately 16 months to travel from Earth to Mars and back.
It takes approximately eight months to travel to Mars and another eight months to return to Earth. Therefore, a complete voyage to Mars may require about two years. If one travels to Mars by a car running at a speed of 60 mph, it would take a little over 270 years to get there and more than 220 years to travel back to Earth.