Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Mars, The Red Planet

Hello! we are Pedro and Saray, we are going to talk about Mars. We hope you to find it interesting..

Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun. It belongs to the inner planets and it is the farthest from the Sun of these last ones. It is described as the “Red Planet”. It is the most similar to The Earth. The name was given after the War Roman God Mars.


Now we are going to describe the planet’s characteristics:

  • It has a slightly elliptical size with an equatorial diameter of 6794 km and 6750 km polar

    The poles of Mars are marked by two white shining poles, which have greatly facilitated the determination of the angle of the Ecuador on the planet to the plane of its orbit, Mars angle equivalent to the obliquity of the ecliptic on Earth. From space exploration takes a value of 25.19 °, a little larger than the obliquity of the ecliptic (23 ° 27 '), which is why Mars has seasonal periods similar to those on Earth.

  • Its average distance from the sun is of approximately 42,4 millions kilometres.

  • The mass of this planet is of 6,4185 X 1023 kilograms, its mass is about 11 hundredths The earth’s mass.

  • The planet’s temperature are:

    * Minimum: 186K -87ºC
    * Average: 227K -46ºC
    * Maximum: 268K -5ºC

    Mars' atmosphere produces a greenhouse effect that increases the surface temperature by 5 degrees, much less than that observed on Venus and Earth.

  • The solar day on Mars is only slightly longer than an Earth day: 24 hours, 39 minutes, and 35.244 seconds. And a year is similar to the one of the Earth, 1 year, 320 days, and 18.2 hours.

  • Mars is known as part of the so-called terrestrial planets (rocky nature).

    It is composed mainly of silicates. Terrestrial planets are substantially different from the gas giant planets, which may not have a solid surface and are composed primarily of gases such as hydrogen, helium and water in various states of aggregation. All terrestrial planets have roughly the same structure: a metallic core, mostly iron and a silicate mantle surrounding it. The Moon has a similar composition, except the iron core. Terrestrial planets have canyons, craters, mountains and volcanoes. They also have secondary atmospheres, from its internal geological processes, unlike the gas giants have atmospheres primary, captured directly from the original solar nebula.

    Mars has the highest volcano of the solar system, it is called Olympus Mons

  • The density of Mars is about 3.9335 ± 0.0004 g/cm³. The density is lower than that of The Earth: 3.94 in relation to the water. A body transported to Mars would weigh 1 / 3 of its weight on Earth, due to low gravity. Its magnetic field is of 3,711 m/s².


    Compared to Earth, the atmosphere of Mars is quite rarefied. Atmospheric pressure on the surface ranges from a low of 30 Pa (0.030 kPa) on Olympus Mons to over 1,155 Pa (1.155 kPa) in the Hellas Planitia, with a mean pressure at the surface level of 600 Pa (0.60 kPa). The surface pressure of Mars at its thickest is equal to the pressure found 35 km above the Earth's surface. This is less than 1% of the Earth's surface pressure (101.3 kPa). The scale height of the atmosphere is about 10.8 km, which is higher than Earth's (6 km) because the surface gravity of Mars is only about 38% of Earth's, an effect offset by both the lower temperature and 50% higher average molecular weight of the atmosphere of Mars.
    The atmosphere on Mars consists of 95%
    carbon dioxide, 3% nitrogen, 1.6% argon and contains traces of oxygen and water.[6] The atmosphere is quite dusty, containing particulates about 1.5 µm in diameter which give the Martian sky a tawny color when seen from the surface.
    The implied methane destruction lifetime may be as long as about 4 Earth years and as short as about 0.6 Earth years. This rapid turnover would indicate an active source of the gas on the planet.
    Volcanic activity, cometary impacts, and the presence of methanogenic microbial life forms are among possible sources. Methane could also be produced by a non-biological process called serpentinization involving water, carbon dioxide, and the mineral olivine, which is known to be common on Mars.


    Mars has two relatively small natural moons, Phobos and Deimos, which orbit close to the planet. Asteroid capture is a long-favored theory but their origin remains uncertain. Both satellites were discovered in 1877 by Asaph Hall, and are named after the characters Phobos (panic/fear) and Deimos (terror/dread) who, in Greek mythology, accompanied their father Ares, god of war, into battle. Ares was known as Mars to the Romans.


    Diameter (km)

    Mass (kg)

    Distance from Mars (km)

    Traslation period (H)


    22.2 Km





    12.6 Km


    23460 Km


    A possible end for the Martian satellites Phobos is that, being so near the planet, at a time will collide with Mars and Deimos is farther away from the planet and an asteroid will be individual, until it falls on some planet, is directed to the Sun, or eternally wander the vacuum of outer space.

    Here there are some of the explorations that have been done on Mars:
    - The first spacecraft to visit Mars was the Marsnik 1, which went to 193,000 miles from Mars on June 19, 1963, failing to submit information.

    - On July 4, 1997 the Mars Pathfinder landed successfully on Mars full and proved it was possible that a small robot walks on the planet. In 2004 a more ambitious scientific mission took two robots Spirit and Opportunity landed on Mars in two diametrically opposite areas to analyze the rocks in search of water, finding evidence of an ancient sea or salt lake.

    - On May 25, 2008, the Phoenix landed near Mars' north pole, its primary objective was to deploy its robotic arm and make surveys at different depths to examine the ground, determine whether there might be life on Mars, characterize the climate Mars, study the geology of Mars, and make studies of the geological history of water, a key to decipher the past climate changes on the planet.

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