Mars, The Red Planet

By Melanie Adams and Natasha Raynor

The Location Of Mars

Mars is the fourth planet from the sun. It is the seventh largest and 227,940,000 kilometers from the sun. The diameter of Mars is 6,794 kilometers. Mars travels around the sun in an oval-shaped pattern. It takes about 687 earth days to make a full orbit. It rotates on an axis of about 24 degrees from a perpendicular position. Mars rotates every 24 hours and 37 minutes.

The Features Of The Red Planet

Mars is considered the red planet because of its bright red color. The temperature ranges from -220 degrees Fahrenheit to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The Red Planet is thought to have no magnetic field. It has the greenhouse effect which raises the temperature about 5 degrees. It has a very thin atmosphere consisting of 95.3% carbon dioxide, 2.7% nitrogen, 1.6% argon, 0.15% oxygen, and 0.03% water.

The Colors Of Mars

The surface of Mars can be seen in detail from Earth. The rust colored portions are thought to be desert-like regions. The greenish-gray regions are thought to be the seas of our neighboring planet. Small amounts of water have been found, but not enough to support our needs.

The first visit to Mars was in 1965 and Olympus Mons was discovered. It is the largest mountain in the solar system, with a height of 78,000 feet. The Viking landed in 1976 to take photos.

The Moons Of Mars

The Red Planet has two small moons that rotate very close to the surface. Phobos has a 22 kilometer diameter and is 9,378 kilometers from Mars. Deimos is 23,459 kilometers from the planet and has a 12 kilometer diameter. Both moons were discovered by a man named Hall in 1877.

Incredible Images!

There are many other planets in the Universe. Mars is only one small planet compared to many. To find out more about these go to the NSSDC Photo Gallery.

By:Melanie Adams and Natsha Raynor E-Mail