10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About the Red Planet

Dust storms on Mars last for months and travel across the entire planet. The environmental conditions of the red planet are extreme because its elliptical course around the Sun is more elongated than the rest of the planets in our solar system.

The red planet is considered the most habitable planet next to Earth in our solar system. Mars is the fourth planet from the sun. The ancient Greeks named it after their god of war, Ares. Moreover, Egyptians named it Her Desher, meaning the Red One, while ancient Chinese called it the Fire Star. It has various names mainly because it held value in ancient cultures. 

Mars
The solar system’s largest volcano Olympus Mons on Mars. Source: NASA

Various modern-day scientists came up with their theories regarding Mars. NASA, Space X and multiple other organizations are planning to colonize Mars in the forthcoming years. It won’t be an easy task as the atmospheric conditions of the red planet are not suitable for the people of Earth, but they are willing to give it a shot. 

I have stated in numerous articles that humans cannot survive on the Earth for an extended period as we have limited resources left. Hence, it’s significant to look for planets that can shelter humans. Fortunately, Mars is quite close to Earth and can house humans. Space X is constructing a massive starship that can carry over 100 passengers to the red planet. However, to permanently live there, we’d have to first colonize it.

I have gathered ten facts regarding the red planet. Let’s have a look at them, shall we?

1) Mars has one of the tallest mountains: 

Olympus Mons is a defense volcano, approximately 21 km high and 600 km in diameter. It was formed billions of years ago, but scientists have recently discovered the evidence of lava around it. Hence, multiple experts ultimately concluded that it could still be active. 

2) 18 successful missions to the red planet:

Different organizations have sent over 40 missions to Mars, including orbiters, landers and rovers. The most recent include the Mars Curiosity mission, the MAVEN mission, the Mangalyaan orbiter mission, etc. Moreover, Space X’s starship mission is expected to launch by 2024. 

3) Unyielding dust storms on the red planet:

Dust storms on Mars last for months and travel across the entire planet. The environmental conditions of the red planet are extreme because its elliptical course around the Sun is more elongated than the rest of the planets in our solar system.

4) Chunks of Mars have fallen to Earth in the past:

Various scientists and experts have discovered small traces of Martian atmosphere within meteorites forcibly blasted from Mars, then circling the solar system for millions of years, before dropping on Earth. These samples have helped scientists to study the environmental conditions of Mars.

5) Mars will have a massive ring one day:

Mars’ biggest moon, Phobos, will one day split with the help of gravitational forces, leading to the creation of a ring that could last up to 100 million years.

6) The red colored planet:

The intense color of Mars is due to iron-rich minerals in its regolith; the loose dust and rock covering its surface. According to the experts at NASA, the iron minerals oxidize, causing the soil to appear red.

7) Blue sunsets on the red planet:

During the day, the sky is pinkish-red or rust-hued on the red planet. Mars’ atmosphere is quite different and unique; most of it is made up of carbon dioxide and has quite a lot of fine dust particles. The sunsets appear blue because the dust particles scatter red light and allow the blue light through.

8) Earth and the red planet have similar landmass:

The red planet has only 15% of the Earth’s volume and just over 10% of its mass, around two-thirds of the Earth’s surface is covered in water.

9) Existence of water on the red planet:

Scientists have spotted canyons all over Mars, and this suggests that liquid water might have flowed across the planet’s surface. Certain canyons are 60 miles wide and over 1,200 miles long. Recent researches suggest that water may still be present in the cracks of the surface. 

10) Craters on Mars:

The size and number of craters on the red planet differ from place to place, depending on how old the surface is. The southern region of Mars is extremely old and has many craters, including the planet’s largest, 1,400-mile-wide Hellas Planitia

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