Whether you call it the red planet or Ares, like the Romans, you probably know the planet Mars. Being the 4th planet from the Sun and the closest to Earth, Mars is one of the most well-known planets. How far away is it from Earth? Is Mars hot? Below are answers to these questions, as well as many awesome facts about Mars.
Get ready to explore Mars with these awesome fun facts!
50 Amazing Facts about Mars!
Mars is called the Red Planet due to the iron on its surface. The iron rusts, leaving behind a reddish, brown color.
The reddish soil has a special name. It is called regolith.
Mars is the fourth planet from the sun in our solar system.
It would take humans approximately 7 months to reach Mars using our fastest spaceship.
It has two moons, named Phobos and Deimos.
Deimos and Phobos are shaped like potatoes
Phobos is so close to Mars that it is predicted to collide with the planet.
The planet got it’s name from Mars, the Roman god of War.
There is no life on Mars. That being said, scientists believe they could find traces of life under its surface.
It takes Mars almost 690 Earth days (~1.9 Earth years) to orbit the Sun.
Mars has very thin atmosphere compared to Earth’s atmosphere and is made up mostly of Carbon Dioxide.
Mars is the 2nd smallest planet in our solar system. Mercury is the only planet it is larger than.
Mars is about half the size of Earth, with a diameter of only 4,220 miles.
A day on Mars is called Sol and is a bit longer than a day on earth. A Sol is 24 hours and 37 minutes.
Mars can spin about 866 km/h
The force of gravity on Mars is 0.375 the force of gravity on Earth.
You can jump 3 times higher on Mars than on Earth.
The average temperature on Mars is -81 degrees Fahrenheit (-63 degrees Celsius).
The highest temperature ever recorded on Mars was 70 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius).
The lowest temperature ever recorded on Mars was -195 degrees Fahrenheit (-125 degrees Celsius).
Mars orbits the Sun at almost 15 miles per second.
Mars’s axis tilts 25 degrees. This is a little more than Earth’s axis tilt at 23.5 degrees.
You can fit 6 Mars inside 1 Earth.
Mars weighs 1/10 of Earth’s weight, about 1.41*10^24 lbs.
Olympus Mons is the highest mountain on Mars. It is 13.6 miles tall, which is almost 3 times taller than Mount Everest.
Mars also has the deepest canyon in our solar system. It is named Valles Marineris and is 4 miles deep and covers thousands of miles.
There is currently no liquid water on Mars.
In 2018, evidence of a lake was found underneath Mars’s polar ice caps.
Mars has ice caps on each of its poles. These polar ice caps are not made of water, but frozen carbon dioxide.
Humans have not yet been to Mars. However, scientists have sent numerous objects, like rovers, to the planet’s surface.
The first objects to land on Mars were called the Viking Landers. They landed in 1976.
Scientists have sent 9 different spacecraft to Mars.
In 2020, scientists sent the Perseverance rover to Mars. Along with it they sent a drone and completed the first unmanned flight on the planet.
Mars rovers look for water and traces of water on the planet. Because Mars is the only other planet where water could have been possible, scientists are interested in finding how water impacted the surface of the planet.
Rovers can move 0.1 mph. Yes, only 0.1 mph!
Mars’ surface is full of canyons and crevasses. This could be evidence of water erosion which could have happened many years ago.
Mars has a crater called the Borealis Basin, which covers nearly 40% of its surface.
There are massive dust storms on Mars. These storms can block the sun for days on end.
Mars has 4 seasons. Spring is the longest season and fall is the shortest season.
Mars is filled with huge craters. In fact, 43,000 craters with diameters of over 3 miles have been discovered.
Galileo was the first person to see Mars. He did so using a telescope in 1610.
Mars is covered in spider-like patterns known as “Martian Spiders.”
The movie ‘The Martian’ was filmed in Wadi Rum, Jordan
We have rocks from Mars on Earth, they were asteroids that collided with Earth.
Mars is the outermost terrestrial planet, all others behind it are made of gas.
Like Saturn, Mars will soon have rings. This will happen when its moon Phobos will break apart.
Mars’ sky is not blue, but rather a pinkish red.
Mars’ core is similar to Earth’s. It has a crust, mantle and core. However, unlike Earth, its inner and outer core are mixed into one, singular core.
Mars’ orbit is not a perfect circle, but elliptical like Earth’s
Mars’ orbit is getting wider, meaning it gets further away from the sun on one end and closer on the other.
Frequently Asked Questions; For More Curious Learners!
How Far Away Is Mars?
Wondering how far Mars is from Earth? The answer is not one number but in fact it changes constantly. Because both Mars and Earth are rotating around the sun in elliptical orbits, their distance from each other is never the same. The closest the two planets can possibly be is a little less than 34 million miles apart, and the longest can be over 200 million miles!
Is There Life On Mars?
Crazy as it seems, we can’t say for certain if there is or isn’t life on Mars. There is still so much of the planet that we have yet to explore so we can only use the limited observations we have now to come up with an answer. The simple answer to this question is no, there is no life on Mars. This answer, however, only applies to intelligent life. The methane in Mars’ atmosphere is evidence of certain bacteria. Evidence of a lake was also found but still no life. To this day scientists are on the hunt for bacteria and other microscopic organisms that may be thriving in the cold, rough terrain of Mars.
Is There Water On Mars?
No, water is currently not on Mars because the atmosphere is too thin. Water is theorized to have been on the planet in the past because of the amazing geological formations on Mars. There are canyons that make the Grand Canyon look small and spider like formations that could have resulted from water erosion. In addition, there has been evidence of a lake found underneath the ice caps on either pole of Mars. Curiously, the ice is not made of water but rather frozen carbon dioxide.
How Long Is A Day On Mars?
A day on mars is called Sol and lasts 24 hours and 37 minutes. This is extremely close to an Earth day and is surprising because Mars is so much smaller than Earth.
What Color Is Mars?
Mars is red which is why it is known as the Red Planet. It is red due to the iron content in its soil. The iron rusts and turns into a reddish brown color. Interestingly enough this also impacts the Martian sky. Instead of blue like on Earth, it is red like its surface.
What Is The Temperature On Mars?
Mars is much much farther from the Sun than Earth is. This means less heat reaches its surface, making it colder than on Earth. The average temperature on Mars is approximately -80 degrees Fahrenheit. It does not stay at this temperature though. Mars is like Earth and its temperature fluctuates. The coldest temperature ever recorded on Mars is -195 degrees Fahrenheit and the hottest temperature ever recorded is 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Quite a big difference!
Is Mars Bigger Than Earth?
No, Maris is smaller than Earth. In fact, Mars is the 2nd smallest planet in the solar system, only larger than Mercury. To compare directly to Earth, Mars is 1/10 the weight and 6 Mars could fit inside 1 Earth. The surface of Mars is about the same as Earths. How? Well Earth is over 70% filled with water. The ~30% of land would cover all of Mars.
How Long Is A Year On Mars?
Mars is further from the Sun so 1 year on Mars is longer than 1 year on Earth. But how much longer? 1 year on Mars takes 687 Earth days, almost 1.9 Earth years!
How Many Moons Does Mars Have?
Mars has two moons named Deimos and Phobos. Both are shaped like potatoes with Phobos being the largest of the two. They are the two smallest moons in the entire solar system and are also pretty close to the planet. Phobos is so close that it orbits Mars 3 times in one day! Another interesting thing about Phobos is that because it orbits so close to Mars it is predicted to either break apart or crash into Mars surface in the near future.
There you have it, Mars enthusiasts! Whether you were hoping to meet a Martian, find out what regolith is, or set foot on Mars one day, we trust your curiosity has been satisfied and you learned a thing or two about the Red Planet!
Want to learn more about the planets in our solar system? Check out these other articles: