Mars: The Red Planet

Submitted By michellefosho
Words: 875
Pages: 4

The red planet

As one travels through space, they would pass many planets in our solar system. Gas giants, to planets with atmospheres and then to our own planet that houses billions of humans. But, there seems to be one planet that, in my opinion, is the most interesting and this would be Earth’s own neighbor. It has the ability to our second home, a planet that long ago could have been just like Earth with running water and blue skies. This planet is Mars, not yet visited personally visited by humans but has been under the eye of my rovers that roam the planet; giving scientists all the information that we know today about Mars. Mars means the god of war, often equated with the Greek god Ares, getting its name from due to its red color. It is the fourth planet from the sun, like the rest of the planets in the Solar System; Mars travels an elliptical orbit around the Sun. The perihelion for Mars is 207 million km and the average distance from Mars to the Sun is 228 million km. Mars actually has the second oddest orbits in the Solar System, right after Mercury. The wide ranging distances have an important impact on its seasons. When Mars is at perihelion, its southern hemisphere is tilted towards the Sun, and can heat up much more than when it’s northern hemisphere is experiencing summer. It takes 1.03 Earth days (24.6 hours) to rotate on its axis and a year on Mars is about 687 Earth days. Mars is about 6,794 km in diameter and the mass is 6.42 x 1023 Mars is like the middle child when it comes to the terms of size with other planets, it’s not the smallest nor is it the biggest. The force of gravity on Mars is much less than the gravity on Earth, about 68% less. So, if you weighed 100 pounded on Earth, you would weigh in a mere 37.7 pounds. The atmosphere of the planet is very thin, It consists of 95% carbon dioxide (CO2), 3% nitrogen, and 1.6% argon (there is no oxygen). The atmospheric pressure is only a fraction of that on Earth (about 1% of Earth's atmospheric pressure at sea level), and it varies greatly throughout the year. There are large amounts of frozen carbon dioxide in the north and south poles, during the warm seasons it melts and gets lifted into the atmosphere and during the cold seasons it freezes again trapping the gas once again in the poles. Sometimes, there are clouds in the Mars’ sky, most of the clouds are made up of carbon dioxide and ice crystal. There is a lot of fine dust particles in Mars’ atmosphere, the particles absorb blue light which gives mars’ sky somewhat of a blue look but mostly it’s pink/yellow. The temperature on Mars is much colder than early, the surface temperature average is about -81 degrees Fahrenheit and the temperature ranges from a high of 68 degrees Fahrenheit to a low of -220 degrees Fahrenheit. Mars is a very rocky planet, filled with the largest known volcanoes in the solar system. Scientists believe that Mars's interior consists of a crust, mantle, and core like Earth's interior but they do not know the sizes for sure of them because no humans have actually been there