The Planets - Mars
Because of its blood-red color (which comes from iron-rich dust), this planet was named for Mars, the Roman god of war. Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun, situated between Earth and Jupiter. Three-quarters red, Mars also has dark blotches on it and white areas at the poles?these are white polar ice caps.
- Size: About one-half the size of Earth in diameter
- Surface: Canyons, dunes, volcanoes, and polar caps of water ice and carbon dioxide ice
- Diameter: 4,194 miles (6,794 km)
- Atmosphere: carbon dioxide (95%)
- Temperature: as low as ?305F (?187C)
- Rotation of its axis: 24 Earth hours, 37 minutes, 23 seconds
- Rotation around the Sun: 687 Earth days
- Your weight: If you weigh 100 pounds on Earth, you would weigh 38 pounds on Mars.
- Distance from Earth: 35 million miles (56 million km) at the closest point in its orbit
- Mean Distance from Sun:141.71 million miles (227.9 million km)
- Satellites: 2
- Rings: 0
This is an image of the Martian north pole in summer. Photo courtesy of NASA
This image shows a portion of a 1,700 km long and 65 km wide swath which was taken in south-north direction across the Grand Canyon of Mars (Valles Marineris) from two perspectives. Photo courtesy of NASA
Fact Monster/Information Please Database, 2007 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.