Mars Amazing Facts

50 Amazing and Interesting Facts about Mars | Amazing Facts 4U 

  1. Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun. Named after the Roman god of war, and often described as the “Red Planet” due to its reddish appearance. The month of March is named after Mars.
  2. Mars’ red color is due to iron oxide, also known rust and has the consistency of talcum powder. Many ancient people believed the reddish color came from actual blood on the planet.
  3. The ancient Greeks thought that Earth was the center of the universe and that Mars was one of the five traveling stars that revolved around it.
  4. Egyptians called Mars the “the backward traveler” because Mars appeared to move backwards through the zodiac every 25.7 months.
  5. Mars has a diameter of about 6800 Km.
  6. The atmosphere on Mars mostly made up of 95% carbon dioxide , 3% nitrogen, 1.6% argon and trace amounts of water and oxygen , is so thin that water cannot exist in liquid form , it can exist only as water vapor or ice.
  7. No human could survive the low pressure of Mars. The oxygen in your blood would literally turn into bubbles, causing immediate death.
  8. The Sun looks about half its size half it does from Earth when seen from Mars.
  9. If you were driving 60 mph in a car, it would take nearly 272 years to get to Mars from Earth.
  10. The surface of Mars is bombarded with a lethal dose of radiation every time the sun rises due to lack of protective ozone layer..
  11. Mars has the largest and most violent dust storms in our entire solar system. These storms often have winds topping 125 mph, can last for weeks, and can cover the entire planet usually occurring when Mars is closest to the sun.
  12. Considering Mars hostile environment , only 1/3 of spacecrafts sent to Mars have been successful.
  13. Mars has enormous canyon named Mariner Valley which is an amazing 2,500 miles long and 4 miles deep. This gigantic canyon was possibly formed by the tectonic “cracking” of Mars’ crust and is the longest known crevice in the solar system.
  14. Mars was formed about 4.5 billion years ago and is about 4,000 miles wide half the diameter of Earth. However it is much lighter than Earth, with only 1/10 of its mass. It’s the last rocky planet as the outer planets are all gaseous.
  15. Mars’ crust is thicker than Earth’s and is made up of one piece, unlike Earth’s crust which consists of several moving plates.
  16. Mars is the only planet other than earth to have polar caps.
  17. Although it is much colder on Mars than on Earth, the similar tilt of Earth’s and Mars’ axes result in similar seasons.
  18. Like Earth’s, Mars’ north and south polar caps shrink in the summer and grow in the winter. Also  a day on Mars is 24 hours 37 minutes nearly the same as Earth’s.
  19. It is believed that the polar caps are mostly frozen water with a thin layer of carbon dioxide. If melted into liquid form, the amount of water in the southern polar cap would cover the entire planet to a depth of about 36 feet.
  20. Mars’ seasons are twice as long as those on Earth because it takes Mars 687 days to orbit the sun, twice as long as Earth.
  21. The Earth’s moon is 240,000 miles away. Earth’s next closest neighbor is Venus, which comes as near as 24 million miles. After the moon and Venus, Mars is our next closest neighbor at 34 million miles away.
  22. Amazingly when Mars and Earth are at the opposite sides of their orbits around the sun, they are separated by 249 million miles.
  23. The orbit of Mars is the most eccentric of the eight planets.
  24. Mars is home to Hellas, a vast and featureless plain that covers 1300 miles which was created by asteroids crashing into the planet’s surface of Mars nearly four billion years ago.
  25. Mars’ moon Phobos (“fear”) rises in the west and sets in the east—twice a day. Deimos (“panic”), on the other hand, takes 2.7 days to rise in the east and set in the west.
  26. The moons are named after the twin gods who accompanied Ares (or Mars) into battle.
  27. Mars’ moon Phobos (fear) rises in the west and sets in the east twice a day. Deimos (panic) on the other hand, takes 2.7 days to rise in the east and set in the west. Mars’ moons are so named because the twin gods of panic and fear.
  28. Phobos orbits very close to Mars and is gradually sinking into the Red Planet. In about 50 million years it might crash into Mars.
  29. Amazingly Mars’ smallest moon, Deimos, has an escape velocity of just 5.2 meters/Sec meaning that if you were take a running jump while on it, you will launch off like a slow rocket.
  30. Mars has no magnetic field, indicating that it does not have a molten metal core, like Earth.
  31. Mars has 37.5% of the gravity that Earth has and we could jump three times as high on Mars.
  32. Mars is home to the highest peak in the solar system called Olympus Mons which is about 15 miles high and has a diameter of 375 miles.It is called a shield volcano because it has such a wide base and rises very gradually.
  33. The average temperature on Mars is −55 °C and can range from −153 °C in the winter to 20 °C in the summer.
  34. In 1965, the United States spacecraft Mariner 4 made the first successful flyby of Mars. It took 228 days to reach Mars and sent only 22 images to Earth.
  35. On November 14, 1971, the United States’ Mariner 9 was the first spacecraft to orbit Mars (or any other planet). After a massive dust storm cleared, Mariner 9 began transmitting nearly 73,000 images and revealing enormous volcanoes, huge canyons, frozen underground water in the form of permafrost, and what appeared to be dried-up river beds.
  36. Mars 2, built by the former Soviet Union, has the distinction of being the first human-built object to touch down on Mars in November 1971. Unfortunately, it crashed into the surface during a massive dust storm.
  37. July 20, 1976, was historic because the United States’ Viking 1 was the first human spacecraft to land intact and operational on the surface of Mars. Viking 2 followed, landing successfully on September 3, 1976. The Viking Landers relayed the first color pictures of the planet.
  38. Amazing fact is that in 1999, NASA lost a $125million Mars orbiter because half the project staff used imperial measurements and the other half used metric.
  39. In 1996, the United States launched Pathfinder so that it would land on America’s Independence Day July 4, 1997. It bounced for 92 seconds on airbags before stopping.
  40. Pathfinder’s small robot, Sojourner, collected and studied Martian rocks. As a precaution it moved less than .5 inches per second. Sojourner was the first robot to explore another planet.
  41. Only 12 Martian meteors are known to exist on earth and are collectively called SNC (“snick”) meteorites. Meteorites that fell to Earth in Morocco during a meteor shower in July of 2011 have been confirmed to be from Mars.
  42. Amazingly there is a giant smiley face shaped crater on Mars.
  43. The Mars Opportunity rover, whose mission was planned to go for just 3 months is still traveling across the Mars having surpassed its duration of activity by more than 10 years.
  44. Aluminum recovered from the destroyed World Trade Center towers was used on NASA’s Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity.
  45. NASA uses songs from The Beatles, Frank Sinatra, and The Doors to wake up the Mars Curiosity rover every morning. Mars Curiosity has only traveled roughly 400-500 meters since it landed.
  46. India’s The Mars Orbiter Mission spacecraft, also known as Mangalyaan, arrived at the Red Planet on the night of Sept. 23, 2014 just two days after NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution probe (MAVEN) reached Mars orbit.
  47. India is the first Asian nation to reach Mars orbit, and the first nation in the world to do so in its first attempt. Amazingly the satellite’s development and execution was fast tracked and completed in a record 15 months.
  48. The total cost of the Mangalyaan mission was just US$73 million , just about 10% of the budget allocated for similar mission by NASA.
  49. So far only four entities have been able to put spacecraft in Mar’s orbit. They are United States, Soviet Union and Europe and India.
  50. At present, Mars is host to seven functioning spacecrafts: five in orbit — the Mars Odyssey, Mars Express, Mangalyaan , Maven and Mars Orbiter, and two on the surface  , Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity and the Mars  Curiosity.

By Amazing Facts 4U Team

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