Mars is known as the Red Planet.
Mars on a clear night is a bright, red disc in our sky. The dusty red dust on its surface and in its atmosphere, makes Mars look like a hot dusty desert, but in actual fact it is freezing cold.
Mars is just over half the size of Planet Earth.
Mars like Earth has a North pole and a South pole.These regions have ice caps that contain frozen water.
On Mars the dusty storms can last for weeks.
Mars has an atmosphere that is poisonous to humans.
The ancient Romans named Mars after their god of war, because when you look at Mars from Earth, the planet looks Red and Angry.
Mars is actually the planet in the Solar System that’s most like Earth. It has seasons, volcanoes, polar ice caps, a atmosphere and even snow. However, we couldn’t breathe in their atmosphere, while it is also much colder on Mars than it is on Earth.
The reasons why we call aliens “MARTIANS”, is because in the middle of the twentieth century many people taught there was life on Mars.
The volcanoes on Mars are like giants on the planet. The biggest volcano on Mars is called Olympus Mons, and it may be the biggest volcano in the Solar System. It is three times taller than Mount Everest, the highest mountain on Earth.
Mars have two moons called Phobos and Deimos. They are so small that they once could have being asteroids that were dragged into orbit around Mars by the planet’s gravity.
A spacecraft called Pathfinder landed on Mars in 1997. It carried a small, robotic vehicle, called the Sojourner rover, which explored the surface and looked at Martian rocks.
A number of robotic rovers have been sent to Mars to look for signs of past life and to see if one day the planet could support life in the future. One such vehicle was called the Curiosity, which landed on Mars in 2012.
Scientists were convinced by looking at Mars through a Telescope from Earth, the dark patches they could see were canals built by some kind of alien form. However, when the first successful probe the Mariner 4, studied the planet from 10,000 km above its surface, it turned out that the planet was dry, cold and empty.
In total there was 39 missions to Mars of which only 16 was successful. The first one was the USSR’s Marsnik in 1960.
It takes Mars 687 Earth days to orbit the Sun.
Mars is the second smallest planet in the Solar System behind Mercury.
Mars is similar to the other terrestrial planets. Its interior is divided into three layers, a crust, mantle and core.
Mars is 141,633,260 miles from the Sun.
One day on Mars is 24 hours and 37 minutes which is almost the same length as an Earth day.
The average temperature on Mars is about minus 80 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 60 degrees Celsius).