Mars The Red Planet

Our Solar system is full of amazing things. There is a planet which is red hence it is called red planet. This is Mars the red Planet.

Do you know which is the most explored planet in our solar system after earth? Any guesses? No? let me tell you. Mars, yes it’s Mars. You got it right.

Mars is the most explored planet in the solar system after the earth and today we are going to discuss the same planet which is also known as the Red Planet.

This planet has a very important role in Indian astronomy.

Mars was named by the traditional Romans for his or her god of war because its reddish color was like blood.

Other civilizations also named the earth for this attribute; for instance, the Egyptians called it “Her Desher,” meaning “the red one.”

Even today, it’s frequently called the “Red Planet” because iron minerals within the Martian dirt oxidize, or rust, causing the surface to seem red.

mars the red planet
Mars the Red Planet


Also, See– Earth-Our Mother Land

Exploration

As mentioned earlier, no planet beyond Earth has been studied as intensely as Mars. Recorded observations of Mars date as far back because of the era of ancient Egypt over 4,000 years ago, once they charted the planet’s movements within the sky.

Today, a science fleet of robotic spacecraft study Mars from all angles.

Six spacecraft are in orbit at Mars. NASA’s scient trio are Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Mars Odyssey and MAVEN. ESA managed the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter and Mars Express missions. India’s first Mars spacecraft — the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) — since 2014.

Two robotic spacecraft are at work on the surface. NASA’s Curiosity rover is exploring Mount Sharp in Gale Crater. NASA’s InSight, a stationary lander, is probing Mars’ interior from a site on a flat smooth plain called Elysium Planitia.

Both NASA and ESA have plans to send new rovers to Mars in 2020.

Size and Distance

With a radius of two ,106 miles (3,390 kilometers), Mars is about half the dimensions of Earth. If Earth were the dimensions of a nickel, Mars would be about as big as a raspberry.

From a mean distance of 142 million miles (228 million kilometers), Mars is 1.5 astronomical units faraway from the Sun. One Astronomical Unit (abbreviated as AU), is that the distance from the Sun to Earth.

From this distance, it takes sunlight 13 minutes to travel from the Sun to Mars.

Orbit and Rotation

Mars’ axis of rotation is tilted 25 degrees with reference to the plane of its orbit round the Sun. This is another similarity with Earth, which has an axial tilt of 23.4 degrees.

Martian days are called sols—short for “solar day.” A year on Mars lasts 669.6 sols, which is that the same as 687 Earth days.

Mars’ axis of rotation is tilted 25 degrees with reference to the plane of its orbit round the Sun. This is another similarity with Earth, which has an axial tilt of 23.4 degrees.

Like Earth, Mars has distinct seasons, but they last longer than seasons here on Earth since Mars takes longer to orbit the Sun (because it’s farther away).

And while here on Earth the seasons are evenly spread over the year, lasting 3 months (or one quarter of a year), on Mars the seasons vary in length because of Mars’ elliptical, egg-shaped orbit around the Sun.

Spring in the northern hemisphere (autumn in the southern) is the longest season at 194 sols. Autumn within the hemisphere (spring within the southern) is that the shortest at 142 days. Northern winter/southern summer is 154 sols, and northern summer/southern winter is 178 sols.

Formation

When the system settled into its current layout about 4.5 billion years ago, Mars formed when gravity pulled swirling gas and mud in to become the fourth planet from the Sun.

Mars is about half the dimensions of Earth, and like its fellow terrestrial planets, it’s a central core, a rocky mantle, and a solid crust.

Structure

Mars has a dense core at its center between 930 and 1,300 miles (1,500 to 2,100 kilometers) in radius. It’s made of iron, nickel and sulfur.

Surrounding the core is a rocky mantle between 770 and 1,170 miles (1,240 to 1,880 kilometers) thick, and above that, a crust made of iron, magnesium, aluminum, calcium and potassium. This crust is between 6 and 30 miles (10 to 50 kilometers) deep.

Surface

The Red Planet is actually many colors. At the surface we see colors like brown, gold and tan.

The reason Mars looks reddish is thanks to oxidization—or rusting—of iron within the rocks, regolith (Martian “soil”), and mud of Mars.

This dust gets kicked up into the atmosphere and from a distance makes the earth appear mostly red.

Interestingly, while Mars is about half the diameter of Earth, its surface has nearly an equivalent area as Earth’s land .

Its volcanoes, impact craters, tectonic movement , and atmospheric conditions like dust storms have altered the landscape of Mars over a few years , creating a number of the solar system’s most interesting topographical features.

A large canyon system called Valles Marineris is long enough to stretch from California to New York—more than 3,000 miles (4,800 kilometers). This Martian canyon is 200 miles (320 kilometers) at its widest and 4.3 miles (7 kilometers) at its deepest. That’s about 10 times the size of Earth’s Grand Canyon.

Mars is home to the most important volcano within the system , Olympus Mons. It’s three times taller than Earth’s Mt. Everest with a base the dimensions of the state of latest Mexico.

Mars appears to possess had a watery past, with ancient river valley networks, deltas and lakebeds, also as rocks and minerals on the surface that would only have formed in liquid water. Some features suggest that Mars experienced huge floods about 3.5 billion years ago.

There is water on Mars today, but the Martian atmosphere is just too thin for liquid water to exist for long on the surface. Today, water on Mars is found within the sort of water-ice slightly below the surface within the polar regions also as in briny (salty) water, which seasonally flows down some hillsides and crater walls.

Atmosphere

Mars features a thin atmosphere made up mostly of CO2 , nitrogen and argon gases.

To our eyes, the sky would be hazy and red due to suspended dust rather than the familiar blue tint we see on Earth.

Mars’ sparse atmosphere doesn’t offer much protection from impacts by such objects as meteorites, asteroids and comets.

The temperature on Mars are often as high as 70 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) or as low as about -225 degrees Fahrenheit (-153 degrees Celsius).

And because the atmosphere is so thin, heat from the Sun easily escapes this planet. If you were to face on the surface of Mars on the equator at noon, it might desire spring at your feet (75 degrees Fahrenheit or 24 degrees Celsius) and winter at your head (32 degrees Fahrenheit or 0 degrees Celsius)

Occasionally, winds on Mars are strong enough to create dust storms that cover much of the planet. After such storms, it can be months before all of the dust settles.

Potential for Life

Scientists do not taking any hope to find living things on Mars. Instead, they’re searching for signs of life that existed long before, when Mars was warm and covered with water in liquid form.

Moons Mars has two moons, Phobos and Deimos, that may have captured asteroids. They’re like Potato in Shape because they have very little mass for gravity to make them spherical.  

  Both the moons named after the horses that pulled the chariot of Ares, the Greek god of war. In ancient Greek, Phobos means “flight,” and Deimos means “fear.” Phobos, the innermost and larger moon, is heavily cratered, with deep grooves on its surface. It is slowly moving towards Mars and will crash into the planet or break apart in about 50 million years. Deimos is about half as big as Phobos and orbits two and a half times farther away from Mars. Oddly-shaped Deimos is covered in loose dirt that often fills the craters on its surface, making it appear smoother than  Phobos.

Rings

Mars the red planet has no rings. However, in 50 million years when Phobos crashes into Mars or breaks apart, it could create a dusty ring around the Red Planet.

Magnetosphere

Mars the red planet has no global magnetic field today, but areas of the Martian crust in the southern hemisphere are highly magnetized, indicating traces of a magnetic field from 4 billion years ago.​



Also Read– Venus-The Twin Sister of Earth

Mercury-The Closest Planet to the Sun

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