Mars - The Red Planet

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Mars - The Red Planet. Image Courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech. Mars the Red Planet. Known to Babylonians 3,600 years ago as “Star that Wandered” The Greeks referred to it as “Ares” the god of War Romans called it Mars. Location. Mars. Image Courtesy of NASA. Basic Facts. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Mars - The Red Planet

Image Courtesy of NASA/JPL-CaltechMars the Red PlanetKnown to Babylonians 3,600 years ago as Star that WanderedThe Greeks referred to it as Ares the god of WarRomans called it MarsLocationMarsImage Courtesy of NASA

Basic FactsDistance from Sun 1.52 times as far as EarthTime to Orbit the Sun ~ 26 Earth monthsAtmosphere ~ Mostly carbon dioxideMartian Day ~ 24.7 hoursTemperature on the planets surface hardly rises above freezing point

Earth and Mars ComparisonEarthMarsRadius6378 km3397 kmDensity5515 kg/m33933 kg/m3Gravity9.8 m/s23.72 m/s2Year365.25 days686.98 daysEccentricity0.0170.094Day24 hours24 hr 39 minObliquity23.4525.19Earth and Mars Comparison

Image Courtesy of NASA/JPL-CaltechMars Surface FeaturesSurface Color: Red FeaturesImpact CratersLargest volcano in the solar system(Olympus Mons)Largest Canyon in the Solar System(Valles Marineris)Ancient river channelsLava RocksDust: Reddish from volcanic rock

Valles MarinerisImage Courtesy of NASA/JPL-CaltechMars AtmosphereUnbreathableThinDusty, makes the sky pinkish, lots of dust stormsSurface Pressure: 1/150th of Earths (only 5.6 millibars)Composition: 95% CO2, 3% N, 1.5% Ar, 0.1% O2, 0.03% H2O

Moons of MarsMars has two tiny moons named Deimos (Panic) & Phobos (Fear)The moons are irregular and very small in sizePhobos 27x22x18 kmDeimos 15x12x10 kmThe moons are probably asteroids captured by Mars

DeimosPhobosImage Courtesy of NASAIs there Water on Mars?Water is the key to life as we know itThe north and south poles of Mars are covered with thick ice or frostSome astronomers about 100 years ago thought there were canals on Mars dug by intelligent civilizationSpace probes to date have not found any traces of canals on MarsPrevious Mission to MarsViking 1 and 2 in 1976First pictures of Martian surface

Image Courtesy of NASA/JPL-CaltechPrevious Mission to MarsPathfinder in 1997Roving vehicle Sojourner to explore Martian surface

Image Courtesy of NASA/JPL-CaltechCurrent MissionsMars Global SurveyorAccomplishes all the tasks of its missionAnd still going

Image Courtesy of NASA/JPL-CaltechOdyssey

Discovered subsurface water ice near polesTrack changes of polar ice, clouds and dust stormsGenerated maps of radiation and mineralsImage Courtesy of NASA/JPL-CaltechMars RoversSpiritLanded January 3, 2004OpportunityLanded January 24, 2004

Image Courtesy of NASA/JPL-CaltechMars Reconnaissance OrbiterLaunch date 2005SHARADShallow Radar InstrumentPenetrate ground and search for water at depths greater than 3 feet.CRISMSpectrometerFind recent traces of water

Image Courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech

Mars Reconnaissance OrbiterLaunch date 2005CTXContex CameraWide area viewsHiRISEHigh Resolution CameraIn depth study of areas where water once flowed

Image Courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech

Future Mission

Phoenix - 2008K9 RoverMars Science Laboratory - 2009Image Courtesy of NASA/JPL-CaltechMars Websites