FACTS ON MARS
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- Greeks called the planet Ares after their god of war, while the Romans called it Mars. Its sign is thought to be the shield and sword of Mars.
- The diameter of Mars is 4220 miles. It is slightly more than half the size of Earth and almost twice the size of the Moon.
- A year at Mars comprises approximately 687 Earth Days. Earth makes two trips around the sun in about the same amount of time that Mars takes to make one trip.
- If you weighed 100 LBS on earth, you would weigh only about 38 lbs on Mars.
- Mars has about one-third the gravity of Earth. A rock dropped on Mars would fall slower than a rock dropped on Earth.
- Because of Mars’ elliptical orbit, some seasons are longer than others.
(The northern hemisphere has a longer spring and summer, while the southern hemisphere has a longer autumn and winter.)
- The temperature on Mars may reach a high of about 70 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) at noon, at the equator in the summer, or a low of about -225 degrees Fahrenheit (-153 degrees Celsius) at the poles
- Olympus Mons on Mars is the largest known volcano in our solar system.
- Mars Close Approach is the point in Mars’ orbit when it comes closest to Earth. The next Mars Close Approach is July 31, 2018.
- Phobos (fear) and Deimos (panic) are the Red Planet’s two small moons. They are named after the horses that pulled the chariot of the Greek war god Ares, the counterpart to the Roman war god Mars.
- Death Valley, California, where Ubehebe crater and “Mars Hill” have geologic features similar to those on Mars.
- The largest canyon in the Solar System cuts a wide swath across the face of Mars. Named Valles Marineris, the grand valley extends over 3,000 kilometers long, spans as much as 600 kilometers across, and delves as much as 8 kilometers deep
- Scientists have long puzzled over this “Martian dichotomy”, but research published today points to a violent explanation for the contrasting landscapes. Early in its history, Mars was struck by a massive asteroid that changed the face of the planet forever.