Mars Planet

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2. Information of MarsMars is the fourth planet from the Sun and is commonly referredto as the Red Planet. The rocks and soil have a red or pink huedue to the iron oxiode (rust) they contain. 3. Location 4. Mars -- the real planet1.5 AU from SunDiameter ~ EarthCold, dry planet weak greenhouseMass ~ 1/10 EarthMax 70F summer, Min -140FDensity 3.9 gm/cm 3Period687d ~ 2 yrsRotation 24h 37mInclination 24oAtm thin, low densityCO295%N3%Ar2%H2O trace clouds, ice caps 5. Earth and Mars Comparison EarthMarsRadius 6378 km3397 kmDensity5515 kg/m3 3933 kg/m3Gravity9.8 m/s2 3.72 m/s2Year 365.25 days686.98 daysEccentricity 0.0170.094Day24 hours 24 hr 39 minObliquity23.45 25.19 6. Hubble Telescope Picture of Mars This NASA Hubble Space Telescope view provides the most detailed complete global coverage of the red planet Mars ever seen from Earth. This picture was taken on February 25, 1995, when Mars was at a distance of 65 million miles. 7. Atmosphere on MarsMars has a rocky, dry terrain with huge volcanoes anddeep valleys. The atmosphere is much thinner thanEarths and is comprised primarily of carbon dioxide andnitrogen. Its gravity is about one-third of our own. 8. The surface on MarsSurface Color: RedFeatures Impact Craters Largest volcano in thesolar system(Olympus Mons) Largest Canyon in theSolar System(Valles Marineris) Ancient river channels Lava Rocks Dust: Reddish fromvolcanic rock 9. Water on Mars?Sinusoidal channelsLaminated terrainIce Caps 10. Largest Volcano on Mars The largest volcano in the solar system is Olympus Mons. It is 624 km (374 miles) in diameter; about the same size as Arizona. The altitude of Olympus Mons is three times the altitude of the largest peak on Earth, Mt. Everest. 11. Gigantic Canyon Valles Marineris, or Mariner Valley, is a vast canyon system that runs along the Martian equator. Valles Marineris is 2500 miles long and reaches depths of up to 4 miles. 12. Gigantic CanyonFor comparison, theGrand Canyon inArizona is about 500miles long and 1 miledeep. In fact, theextent of VallesMarineris is as long asthe United States andit spans about 20percent (1/5) of theentire distance aroundMars. 13. Seasons on MarsLike Earth, Mars has seasonal changes but the seasons last muchlonger. In Winter, Mars polar ice cap can reach down to 45degrees latitude and then rapidly shrink during Spring. Dust stormsare seasonal, also, as witnessed in this Hubble image. 14. Earth/Mars Comparison Mars EarthDistance from Sun 141.6 Million Miles 93 Million Miles Diameter 4222 Miles 7926 MilesLength of Year687 Earth Days365.25 DaysLength of Day 24 hours 37 minutes 23 hours 56 minutes Gravity .375 that of Earth2.66 times that of Mars Temperature Average -81 degrees F Average 57 degrees FTemperature Range-127 C to 17 C -88 C to 58 CNumber of Moons2 1 15. Mars, the god of War The planet was named after Mars, the Roman God of War, who was one of the most worshipped and revered gods in ancient Rome. The god Mars held a special place in the Roman Pantheon not only for his patronly influence, but because of the importance of military achievement in the republic and the Roman Empire. 16. Early conceptsBefore space exploration, Mars was considered the bestcandidate for harboring extraterrestrial life. Italianastronomer, Giovanni Schiaparelli thought he saw straightlines crisscrossing its surface. This led to the popular beliefthat irrigation canals on the planet had been constructed byintelligent beings. 17. Mariner missions In July of 1965, Mariner 4, transmitted 22 close- up pictures of Mars. All that was revealed was a surface containing many craters and naturally occurring channels but no evidence of artificial canals or flowing water. 18. Viking LandersFinally, in July and September1976, Viking Landers 1 and 2touched down on the surface ofMars. The three biologyexperiments aboard thelanders discovered unexpectedand enigmatic chemical activityin the Martian soil, but providedno clear evidence for thepresence of livingmicroorganisms in the soil nearthe landing sites. 19. Viking LandersAccording to scientists, Mars is self-sterilizing. They believethe combination of solar ultraviolet radiation that saturates thesurface, the extreme dryness of the soil and the oxidizingnature of the soil chemistry prevent the formation of livingorganisms in the Martian soil. The question of life on Mars atsome time in the distant past remains open. 20. The First RoverMars Pathfinder was the first instrumented lander and robotic rover to studythe surface of Mars. Findings from the investigations carried out by scientificinstruments on both the lander and the rover suggest that Mars was at one timein its past warm and wet, with water existing in its liquid state and a thickeratmosphere. 21. Mars Exploration Rovers Artists Concept Image: NASAThe Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, arecurrently studying how past water activity on Mars hasinfluenced the red planets environment over time. 22. Spirit In March 2005, Spirit studied rocks in the Paso Robles area that have a high sulfur content. Much of the high sulfur is contained in a hydrated iron-sulfate mineral that can only have formed in the presence of liquid water. 23. OpportunityOpportunitys spectrometerand microscopic imagerfound that rocks near thelower slopes of EnduranceCrater were affected bywater both before and afterthe crater formed. 24. CuriosityNASAs Curiosity Mars RoverTo handle this science toolkit, Curiosity istwice as long and five times as heavy as Spiritor Opportunity. The Gale Crater landing siteplaces the rover within driving distance oflayers of the craters interior mountain.Observations from orbit have identified clayand sulfate minerals in the lower layers,indicating a wet history.NASAs Mars Science LaboratoryCuriosity rover, a mobile robot forinvestigating Mars past or presentability to sustain microbial life.Curiosityisbeing testedinpreparation for launch in the fall of2011. 25. Future Exploration of Mars