Mars Planet Summary:
Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun and the second smallest in size. Prior to 2006, it was Pluto, but Pluto was downgraded to the category of Dwarf Planet.
Mars is also known as the «Red Planet» due to the color of its surface, which contains a significant amount of iron oxide.
Moons and Trojan Satellites:
Mars has two moons (Phobos and Deimos) and four Trojan asteroids called «5261 Eureka», (101429) 1998 VF31, (450154) 2000 AM49, (481844) 2008 WH94.
Mars has half the diameter of Earth, its volume is only 15% of that of Earth, and its mass is approximately 11% of that of Earth. If a person on our planet weighs 80 kg on Mars, they would weigh only 30 kg.
A year on Mars is 687 Earth days and a day on Mars lasts 24.62 hours. The maximum temperature is 20 degrees Celsius and the minimum is -87 degrees (below zero).
Mars has an iron and nickel core, it is unknown if it is in a liquid state, but it is known that the so-called «dynamo effect» has not been functioning for billions of years. That’s why Mars almost has no magnetic field. The core radius is almost 1800 kilometers
On Mars there are no oceans, so the surface area to walk on is similar to that of the continents on Earth.
Scientists claim that if the south pole were to melt, the planet would be covered with 11 meters of water. The Phoenix probe confirmed that the soil contains magnesium, sodium, potassium, and chlorine, which are necessary for plants, but unfortunately the soil is toxic due to containing 0.6% perchlorate salts.
At the north pole is Olympus Mons, the largest volcano in the solar system with a height of 26 kilometers, more than two and a half times the height of Mount Everest. Olympus Mons is an extinct volcano.
On Mars there is very little atmosphere, there is strong evidence that the reason is the loss of the magnetic field. The atmospheric pressure is only 9 hectopascals (hPa), while on Earth we have 1013 (hPa).
It is composed of carbon dioxide at 95.3%, with 2.7% nitrogen and only 0.15% oxygen. Additionally, the ozone layer that is 40 kilometers above the surface is insufficient to stop ultraviolet rays.
On the surface, dust storms often occur that can cover the entire Mars due to the cycles of the polar caps. These storms have disabled the solar panels of several space missions.
Mars has climatic seasons like on Earth, thanks to a tilt of 25.19 degrees of its rotation axis, compared to the 23 degrees tilt of Earth. But as the Martian year lasts twice as long, its seasons also last twice as long. Mars also has a more eccentric orbit than Earth, which makes that, when it’s summer in the northern hemisphere, Mars is farther away from the Sun and when it’s winter in the Northern Hemisphere, it is closer to the sun. This phenomenon makes the weather conditions not as extreme in the North Pole. In summary, in the Northern Hemisphere it is not as cold in winter, nor as hot in summer.
There is ice at the north and south poles of Mars, but there is no liquid water on the surface due to the almost non-existent atmosphere. The atmospheric pressure on Mars is only 1% of that on Earth.
The northern polar cap, during the summer, has a diameter of 1000 kilometers and a thickness of 2 kilometers.
The southern polar cap has a diameter of 350 kilometers and a thickness of 3 kilometers.