Mars is the fourth planet from the sun and is commonly known as the red planet. Due to its red tint, the planet can easily be identified in the night sky. There are many fun facts about mars which many of us are not aware of. This is one of the brightest solar objects that you will see in the sky. It is one of the most enigmatic of all planets in our solar system and considered as the colon of our home planet. This planet is at about 230 million kilometers from the sun and makes one complete revolution around our parent star in about 687 Earth days. A day on Mars has a total duration of 24 hours, 39 minutes, and 35.244 seconds, which is slightly more than the
Among all the nine planets in our solar system, Mars is the only planet that has always fascinated the mankind. The Egyptians called the red planet ‘Har decher’ or the Red One. The planet was called ‘Nergal’ or ‘the Star of Death’ by the Babylonians. From centuries many astronomers like Tycho Brahe Johannes Kepler, Nicolas Copernicus, Galileo Galilei, and Christian Huygen have mentioned about this red planet. In 1971 Mariner 9 was sent to Mars, which came back with images of huge volcanoes and vast canyons. In 200, Mars Odyssey was launched to the planet which stayed in the planet’s orbit till September 2010.
Here is a compilation of some astounding mind-boggling facts about the red planet.
Nicknamed as Red Planet
The planet Mars is nicknamed as the red planet due to its red color. The red color of the planet is due to ferric oxide or nanophase ferric oxide present abundantly in Mars soil. The presence of ferric oxide and the atmospheric gases results in formation of rust that gives the observed color of Mars. The planet Mars was named after the Roman God of War, where the red color stood as the color of blood and often symbolizes danger and violence.
The Month of March
One interesting fact about this red planet is that the month of March was named after the Roman god of war, Mars, who was also regarded as a guardian of agriculture and an ancestor of the Roman people. Romans regarded this as the first month of their calendar and believed this month was the beginning of the season for both farming and warfare. Due to this fact several religious observances took place in the first half of month as it was regarded as the beginning of a new year.
Symbol to Mars
The symbol of the planet Mars is a circle with an arrow emerging from it. The arrow points at an angle to the upper right side. Mythologically this is the sign of a spear and shield of the Roman god Mars or the Greek god Ares. Scientifically the sign stands for male sex, planet Mars and the chemical element iron. The symbol was also used in the masculist movement.
The Ancient Greeks Mythology
According to the Greek mythology, Mars was as the god of war and also an agricultural guardian. He was second only in importance to Jupiter, and was the most prominent of the military gods in the religion of the Roman army. This is why most of his festivals were held in March, the month named for him. The festivals even celebrated in October, which began and ended the season for military campaigning and farming. Mars was identified with the Greek god Ares, whose myths were reinterpreted in Roman literature and art under the name of Mars.
Mars Red Color
Pathfinder, the latest spacecraft sent to the planet Mars, reports that the soil on the planet contains exceeding amount of iron content than its rocks. The planet is rich in iron content, which when comes in contact with gases found in the atmosphere of the planet results in the formation of rust. This gives the planet the reddish color as you notice it with rust.
The Atmosphere of Mars
When compared to the atmosphere of earth, Mars atmosphere is quite thinner and mostly comprises of carbon dioxide. The atmospheric pressure on the Mars surface averages 600 pascals that is about 0.6% of Earth’s mean sea level pressure. The atmosphere is about 96% carbon dioxide, 1.93% argon, 1.89% nitrogen, and traces of free oxygen, carbon monoxide, water and methane, among other gases. Mars atmosphere is believed to have changed over the course of the planet’s lifetime, with evidence suggesting the possibility that Mars had large oceans a few billion years ago.
Low Pressure of Mars
The recent researches show that huge, swirling dust storms periodically cover nearly the entire planet surface. Reports from the spacecraft tell that sand and dust are routinely transported across the Martian surface in massive amounts. This makes the air pressure too low on the planet. The air pressure is so low on Mars that even in the most favorable spots, where the pressure is higher than average, liquid water is restricted to sustain.
Pathfinder was as an American spacecraft that landed a base station with a roving probe on Mars in 1997. The spacecraft was launched on December 4, 1996 by NASA and it landed on July 4, 1997. The Mars Pathfinder conducted different investigations on the Martian soil using three scientific instruments. The spacecraft sent more than 2.3 billion bits of information including 16,500 pictures and made 8.5 million measurements of the atmospheric pressure, temperature and wind speed.
Mars Lacks An Ozone Layer
Ozone is made up of three oxygen atoms that are formed in a multi-step process that begins when sunlight breaks up carbon dioxide in planet’s atmosphere. Due to the fact that there is very less amount of oxygen in the atmosphere of Mars, there is no ozone layer on the planet. Availability of ozone will increase the atmospheric pressure to 80% and will find a way to further release liquid water from the atmosphere.
It is a region located in the Phoenicis Lacus quadrangle, the region between Valles Marineris and the Tharsis upland. The region is quite notable for its maze-like system of deep, steep-walled valleys. The region has valleys and steps which are believed to form by faulting and many show classic features of grabens, with the upland plain surface preserved on the valley floor. It is thought that this faulting was triggered by volcanic activity in the Tharsis region.
Most Violent Dust Storms
Due to the thin atmosphere and no vegetation, the wind speed on the planet can be as high as 160 kilometres per hour. However, this wind storm feels like a gentle breeze on the planet surface. The wind storm will not push you with force but certainly sink you with the dust content in carries. Mars has the largest and most violent dust storms in our entire solar system. These storms often have winds topping 125 mph.