Interesting Facts about Mars
Ancient Myth about the Red planet – Mars
Before we delve into the many mysteries that planet Mars is surrounded by, let us look into
the ancient history of the red planet. The early Romans considered Mars as a symbol for war
and aggression. In an attempt to appease this volatile red war planet (War of God), various
ancient cultures offered it human sacrifices. In today’s scientific era, Mars is no longer a
mystery or an enigmatic planet for us. Mars is the second smallest in the solar system and
due to its red appearance it is sometimes known as the “Red Planet”. Today, we know about
Mars; how it looks, how far it is from the Earth, the time it takes to revolve its own axis, and
other textbooks facts. But there is much more to the planet that adds to its mysterious charm.
Some interesting facts have been collected and put together in this article.
How big is Mars?
It is hard to believe that people still carry the impression that Mars is a near-twin of Earth, but
this assumption is actually false. Mars has a diameter of about half that of the earth,
measuring only 6,800 km across. The total mass of this red planet is only about 10% of the
total mass of the Earth and the surface gravity is only 38% of what you would actually
experience on the Earth. In layman’s terms, a 100 pound person on earth would weigh only
38 pounds on Mars. This red planet is not a sphere because it rotates on its own axis and it
bulges at the equator. Another name for Mars could be the “Rusty Planet” due to its rocky and
dusty surface. The oxidized iron dust that covers the surface of Mars is similar to talcum
powder. The soil of Mars holds nutrients such as sodium, chloride and magnesium.
Does water actually exists on Mars?
According to scientific studies, water on Mars exists almost as ice with a small amount
present in the atmosphere as water vapors. Furthermore, NASA’s Mars Odyssey spacecraft
detected water beneath the surface covered by the red dust. No large reserve of standing
water body has been found to exist because the atmospheric pressure at its surface averages
just 600 Pascal.
Mars has almost no atmosphere. Is it true?
NASA has steadfastly claimed that there is almost no atmosphere on planet Mars. If an
astronaut tries to stand out on its surface without a spacesuit, he or she would surely die
within a few seconds. The freezing cold temperatures and iron dust would be a big problem. It
is measured that the air pressure at the surface of Mars is only 1% of the pressure that is
present on the surface of the Earth. The atmosphere of Mars consists of 95% carbon dioxide,
3% nitrogen and some small traces of water and oxygen.
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