Interesting Facts About Mars

Formation of Mars

Mars is no different than our other lovely terrestrial planets. About 4.5 billion years ago, Mars formed when gravity pulled gas and dust. 

Mars discovery 

The Romans named the planet Mars & The Greeks called the Red Planet Aries. The Greeks and the Romans associated mars with war and bloodshed due to the color of the Planet.

Galileo was the first person to observe Mars with a telescope. He made his observation in 1610.

 

galileo looking through telescope

 

Roughly 60 years later, after Galileo's observation, Christiaan Huygens was the first individual to notice a white spot at the south pole on Mars. He must likely observe the southern polar cap.

Christaan Huygens

The Surface of Mars

The surface of Mars actually has many colors. The red planet surprisingly consists of many colors other than red. Mars is brown, gold and tan.

Mars appears to be reddish because of the oxidation or rusting of iron in the rocks. This process causes the dust to get kicked up into the atmosphere, which causes the planet to appear red.

Mars is about only half the diameter of Earth. But since the planet is so, dry it has almost the same amount of land as Earth.

 

mars surface

Radiation on Mars 

Well, as everyone knows radiation is not good for you. And with humans wanting to venture Mars radiation has always been a concern. It’s been said that a human can with stand 200 rads without permanent damage. If a human is exposed to too much radiation it could lead to problems like radiation sickness, increased risk of cancer, genetic damage, and death.

NASA has sent rovers to Mars to study the radiation. NASA’s 2001 Mars  spacecraft was equipped with a tool called the Martian radiation experiment. The sole purpose of this tool was to study the radioactive environment. 

Over the span of 18 months the rover was able to discover that radiation levels were 2.5 times higher than what Astronauts experience on the international space station. 

The atmosphere of the red planet

The atmosphere on Mars is about 100 times thinner than planet Earths. The atmosphere of mars is 95% carbon dioxide, Unlike Earth which only has 0.04% carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. 

Weather on Mars 

In the winter, the pools of mars can get down to -195°F. On a summer day, Morris can get up to 70°F are the equator. At night, the temperature can drop to -100°F.

Since temperatures are below freezing, frost forms on the rocks at night. As it becomes daytime, the air becomes warmer & the frost turns into vapor this-causes the humidity to be above 100% until it evaporates.

At night, relative humidity levels can rise to 80 to 100%. During the daytime, there is much drier air due to the warm temperatures.

Seasons 

Like all terrestrial planets in our Solar System Mars has seasons. In the northern hemisphere of the planet Spring is a long as season it’s seven months. Summer and fall are both six months long and winter is only four months. 

So if you don’t like the winter you should move to Mars.

Mars will have rings 

In 20-40 million years. One of the red planet's moons, Phobos be will be destroyed by gravitational forces. This destruction of Phobos will result in a ring forming around Mars. The ring could last up to 100 million years.

Terraforming Mars

With global warming becoming more and more of a problem, people have begun to wonder.
What happens if Earth becomes inhabitable.

One solution:
We go to Mars. Unfortunately, with existing technology terraforming mars, it’s not possible.

But assuming we had the instruments. We would need to raise the temperatures of Mars to be Earth-like.

We could do this by using greenhouse gases already present on Mars.
But even then, there wouldn’t be enough CO2, according to Bruce M. Jakosky and Edwards.

One idea favored by SpaceX is using explosives to raise dust in the atmosphere, so it would land on the polar caps and increase the amount of solar energy they absorb, according to Space.com.

Living on Mars 


If there is not enough CO2 on Mars to provide significant greenhouse warming where the gas will go into the atmosphere, we could always build Mars Ice Domes.

Dome on mars NASA

According to Langley researcher Sheila Ann Thibeault. "The materials that make up the Ice Home will have to withstand many years of use in the harsh Martian environment, including ultraviolet radiation, charged-particle radiation, possibly some atomic oxygen, perchlorates, as well as dust storms."

In a Nutshell 

  • Mars formed 4.5 billion years ago
  • Mars was first observed by the Romans 
  • Mars is tan, brown and gold
  • Over the span of 18 months the rover was able to discover that radiation levels were 2.5 times higher than what Astronauts experience on the ISS
  • Summer is the longest seasons on Mars
  • In 20-40 million years Mars will have a ring. 
  • We can't terraform mars 

 

Sources

https://www.space.com/16907-what-is-the-temperature-of-mars.html

https://www.space.com/41318-we-cant-terraform-mars.html

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/langley/a-new-home-on-mars-nasa-langley-s-icy-concept-for-living-on-the-red-planet

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41550-018-0529-6/

 

Image Credit

https://mars.nasa.gov/allaboutmars/mystique/history/1600/

https://www.pinterest.fr/pin/78813062209636326/

https://www.biography.com/news/galileo-discoveries-theories-modern-physics-astronomy

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/langley/a-new-home-on-mars-nasa-langley-s-icy-concept-for-living-on-the-red-planet

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martian_soil

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