Amazing facts about the planet Mars

Amazing facts about the planet Mars

Amazing facts about the planet Mars! The highly anticipated launch of the Perseverance mobile robot, which will attempt to find traces of ancient life on Mars, took place last Thursday in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

If all goes well, the craft is expected to land on Mars on February 18, 2021, and begin its research work after traveling 480 million kilometers. Among the few tasks he will have to accomplish, he will notably have to take rock samples, which will then be returned to Earth for analysis. This special package is not about to arrive, however: it can be picked up at the earliest in 2031.

This new exploration mission will undoubtedly allow scientists to learn more about the red planet, which continues to fascinate human beings. The fantasy of stepping on Martian soil has been alive and well since Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon. Elon Musk, the wealthy American entrepreneur and leader of SpaceX, also dreams of establishing a colony of at least one million people there by 2060. Amazing facts about the planet Mars!

So what do we know about Mars at the moment?

Here are five straightforward facts about the famous red planet.

LESS GRAVITY

It’s not just the size of the red planet that is much smaller than that of the blue planet (its diameter of 6,791 kilometers is almost twice as small!): Its gravity is too!

Indeed, it is 2.66 times smaller on Mars than on Earth (link to a page in English). This means that a person weighing 100 kilograms would weigh only 37.5 on the red planet, or that basketball athletes could jump nearly three times higher. This lower gravity is due among other things, to its mass, which is 10 times less than that of the Earth.

We are already looking forward to the high jump competition at the Martian Olympics! Amazing facts about the planet Mars!

A WELL-CHOSEN NICKNAME

Just like Earth, Mars also has a nickname related to the color of its surface. In this precise case, it is, of course, “the red planet”. But what explains this coloring?

It is the abundant presence of iron oxide — better known as the famous rust — on the ground and on the rocks, which gives it this particular appearance in the starry sky. Moreover, for the record, the Romans had noticed the reddish color of the planet, which they compared to that of a battlefield covered in blood, and consequently gave it the name of their god of war.

In 2001, a large dust storm on Mars spread iron oxide over its surface, which over three billion years ago did not look like this at all.

AN IMPOSING MOUNTAIN

If you thought that climbing Mount Everest was quite a feat, then you don’t know Olympus Mons.

This volcano, whose vastness was first documented with precision by the Mariner 9 probe in the early 1970s, is the highest mountain in the solar system. With a peak of 22.5 kilometers from the Martian reference level, Olympus Mons is nearly three times as high as Mount Everest, which is 8.8 kilometers above sea level.

This imposing volcano formed over a period of nearly 4 billion years, during which the lava projected by the chimneys froze on its flanks, which constantly pushed its summit to new limits.

If there is one thing that is certain, it is that oxygen is scarce at the top of Olympus Mons.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store