Mars has been of interest to humans for centuries. It is known as one of the Earth’s “near” neighbors because you can see it from Earth with the naked eye. Since ancient times, Mars has also been associated with war and destruction. Yet despite its violent appearance, there are many reasons humans should be fascinated by this red planet.
From being home to water on its surface to hosting an atmosphere composed primarily of carbon dioxide, there are still many things about Mars that humans don’t know about. This article will present you with ten facts about this neighboring planet, some common knowledge, and others not so well-known, which may change your view on it entirely!
- 1 Mars Has Two Moons
- 2 There Was Once Water on Mars
- 3 The Temperature on Mars Varies Dramatically
- 4 Mars Has Magnetic Fields
- 5 The Atmosphere on Mars Is Toxic
- 6 Mars Has a Giant Volcano
- 7 There May Be Ice on Mars’ North Pole
- 8 There May Be Life on Mars
- 9 Mars And Earth Have A Similar Amount Of Land Mass
- 10 The Biggest Dust Storms In The Solar System Are On Mars
- 11 The Red Planet Is Full Of Wonders!
Mars Has Two Moons
Most people know that Mars has two moons, Phobos and Deimos. But what most people don’t know is that these moons are some of the smallest in the solar system. In fact, they are so small that Some scientists view them as “moonlets.” Phobos is the larger of the two moons, measuring at just 27 kilometers wide. While Deimos is 16 kilometers wide.
There Was Once Water on Mars
Scientists have known for some time that there was once water on Mars. But new evidence suggests that there may still be water on the planet’s surface. A study published in 2018 found that a large underground reservoir of water exists on Mars. This reservoir is estimated to contain as much as 25% of the water present on Mars. This discovery makes the planet still a viable option for life.
The Temperature on Mars Varies Dramatically
While the average temperature on Mars is -63 degrees Celsius, the temperature can vary dramatically from place to place on the planet. For example, the temperature at the Martian poles can be as cold as -153 degrees Celsius, while the temperatures near the equator can reach up to 20 degrees Celsius. As a comparison, the temperature on Earth varies from -89 degrees Celsius to +63 degrees Celsius.
Mars Has Magnetic Fields
While Earth has a strong magnetic field that extends out into space, Mars does not. This is because Mars’ core is not as large or molten as Earth’s core. As a result, the magnetic field on Mars is much weaker than the magnetic field on Earth. However, it does have one, which is thought to be caused by the planet’s rotation and can vary in intensity over time.
The Atmosphere on Mars Is Toxic
As you know, Earth’s atmosphere is hospitable for humans and other life forms, however, the atmosphere on Mars is not. The main reason for this is that the atmospheric pressure on Mars is so low. This means that there is very little oxygen present in the atmosphere, and what oxygen is present is not enough to sustain human life. In addition, the atmosphere on Mars is also composed of carbon dioxide, which is toxic to humans.
Mars Has a Giant Volcano
Mars is home to the largest volcano in the solar system, Olympus Mons. This volcano is over 21 kilometers high, making it three times taller than Mount Everest. It is also the largest mountain in the solar system. Olympus Mons has a wider base than the state of Arizona. To put that into perspective, if Mount Everest was on Mars, it would be the fifth-largest mountain on the planet.
There May Be Ice on Mars’ North Pole
At some point you might have heard that there is ice on Mars, but scientists are still unsure where exactly the location of the ice is. However, recent evidence suggests that there may be a large deposit of ice at Mars’ north pole. This ice is estimated to be about 1.5 kilometers thick and could potentially provide a source of water for humans or other life forms if it were to melt.
There May Be Life on Mars
While there has not been any definitive proof of life on Mars, there is still a chance it exists. Most of this belief is due to the fact that Mars is the only other planet in the solar system that humans explore to any significant degree. And while no life has been found on Mars yet, scientists are still hopeful that they may discover it in the future.
Mars And Earth Have A Similar Amount Of Land Mass
Though Mars is a much smaller planet than Earth, Mars has about the same amount of landmass. The difference is that most of Earth’s landmass is on its continents, while most of Mars’ landmass is in its deserts and ice caps. So even though the planet itself is smaller, Mars doesn’t have even half as much water on its surface as the Earth does, making their total landmass actually equal out.
The Biggest Dust Storms In The Solar System Are On Mars
Mars is home to some of the largest dust storms in the solar system. These storms can grow up to be thousands of kilometers wide and can last for months at a time. The most famous of these storms was the Dust Bowl storm of 1935. This storm covered the entire planet in thick dust. These dust storms are also responsible for the red color of the Martian sky.
The Red Planet Is Full Of Wonders!
There are many interesting and unique things about Mars that most people don’t know about. This article has just scratched the surface, but there is still much to learn about this fascinating planet. So far, scientists have only been able to explore a small part of Mars, so there is still a lot left to discover. Who knows what else they may find on Mars in the future?