– The Red Planet

Even though it is a small Mars is not the closest red planet’s surface is region are so huge rocky planet, Mars has planetary neighbor much slower than that that they deformed the captured the imagination to , but it is the of the Earth, and the planet’s spherical shape. and scientific interest of most Earth-like. It is the surface features have not The Vallis Marineris, humans for centuries. fourth closest planet shown the same level a gigantic equatorial to the . Mars has of dramatic changes rift valley, stretches a Knowledge about the been subjected to that characterize distance equivalent to red planet has increased some of the planetary Earth’s landscape. The the distance from New with robotic missions. processes associated geological development York to Los Angeles. NASA sent its fi rst with the formation of and alteration of Mars’ Arizona’s Grand Canyon successful mission to , and , called tectonics, could easily fi t into one Mars in 1964. Numerous Earth. These processes differs from Earth’s. of the side canyons of orbiters, landers, and include volcanism, Martian tectonics seem this great chasm. rovers have followed impact events, erosion, to be vertical, with hot and will continue over and other atmospheric lava pushing upwards The Martian the next few decades. effects. Another Earth- through the crust to the which primarily is The Vision for like characteristic is the surface. On the other composed of calls for growth and retreat of hand, Earth tectonics dioxide gas is currently NASA to return to the Martian polar ice also involve sliding too thin to allow the and use caps with the change of plates that grind against liquid to exist. increasingly longer as Mars each other or spread Seasonally, great dust stays to prepare for the Sun. apart on the seafl oors storms occur that engulf human missions to Mars. and along fault lines. the entire planet. The The red planet and storms’ effects are Through exploration and Earth differ in a number Exploration of the dramatic, including research, many of ways. The Martian Martian surface by dunes, wind streaks and such as Mars having an surface retains much imaging orbiters wind-carved features. Earth-like atmosphere of the record of its has revealed some There is no evidence and supporting because it had remarkable geological of civilizations, and it is canals with fl owing water liquid water only during characteristics. Mars unlikely that there are and vegetation have part of its evolution. lays claim to the largest any existing life forms, been dismissed and Mars does experience volcanic mountain but there may be fossils much insight into the surface erosion, but in the . of life-forms from a formation and evolution due to the absence of Olympus Mons is about time when the climate of the red planet has flowing water over much 17 miles high and 373 was warmer and there been gained. of its geologic , miles wide. Volcanoes was liquid water on the the rate of erosion of the in the northern Tharsis surface.

Mars Facts

Average Distance from Sun 142 million miles Period of 24 hours, 37 minutes Period of Revolution around Sun 687 days Diameter 4,220 miles Tilt of Axis 25 degrees Length of 687 Earth Days 2 ( and ) .375 that of Earth Temperature Average -81 degrees Fahrenheit Atmosphere Mostly Carbon Dioxide with some , Nitrogen and water vapor www..gov