Planet Mars is the sun’s fourth planet and the last of the terrestrial planets. As the rest of the solar system’s planets (except Earth), Mars is named after a mythological figure-the the Roman war god.
Besides its official name, Planet Mars is often called the Red Planet because of its surface brownish-red colour. Planet Mars is the second tiniest planet after Mercury in the solar system.
Here are 10 Amazing Facts About Red Planet Mars.
- Planet Mars is home to the tallest mountain in the solar system. Olympus Mons, a shield volcano, is 21km high and 600km in diameter. Despite having formed over billions of years, evidence from volcanic lava flows is so recent many scientists believe it could still be active.
2. Planet Mars has been known for at least 4,000 years due to its brightness and closeness to Earth, and it is difficult to credit anyone with its discovery. But in 1610, Galileo Galilei became the first person to observe Mars with a telescope.
3. The Hubble Space Telescope took this red planet picture 11 hours before its closest approach to Earth in 60,000 years, in 2003. How near? It was a mere 55,760,220 kilometres (34,648,840 miles away). The next nearest solution is in the year 2287.
4. In Planet Mars, it can get pretty cold, much colder than our own planet because it’s far from the sun. Temperatures can exceed 20 ° C at the equator but can plunge to as low as -140 ° C at its poles.
5. Planet Mars used to have a thicker atmosphere The Red Planet needs more atmosphere for the water to flow in the past. And over the past billion years, something must have changed. It is believed that the energy of the sun striking the atmosphere must have “stripped” the lighter forms of hydrogen from above, dispersing the molecules into space.