Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun. Mars is sometimes called the Red Planet because of the reddish appearance of its surface. Mars is the second smallest planet in the solar system and it is a terrestrial planet with a thin atmosphere.
1 Mars Has the Largest Dust Storms in the Solar System Reaching Speeds of Over 160km/hour
The dust storms can last for months and cover the complete planet. The seasons are extreme because it’s oval-shaped (elliptical) orbital path around the Sun is more elongated than most other planets in the solar system.
2 Some Pieces of Mars Have Fallen to Earth
Scientists have found tiny traces of Martian atmosphere within meteorites violently ejected from Mars, then orbiting the solar system amongst galactic debris for numerous years, before crash landing on Earth. This allowed scientists to start studying Mars before launching space missions.
3 Mars Has The Tallest Mountain in The Solar System; Olympus Mons is The Largest Volcano, Tallest Planetary Mountain, and The Tallest Mountain in The Solar System
Olympus Mons could be a 22 km high and 600 km diameter shield volcano that was formed billions of years ago. Many scientists have found a lot of recent evidence of volcanic lava which suggests Olympus Mons should move. It’s the 2nd highest mountain in the entire solar system, topped only by the Rheasilvia central peak on the asteroid Vesta, which is 22 km high.
4 Mars is The Only Other Planet Besides Earth That Has Polar Ice
Like Earth, Mars has ice caps at its poles. The northern cap is called the Planum Boreum and it is up to 2 miles deep and covers an area slightly larger than Texas. Southern Cap has a permanent dry ice cover of about 8m.
5 Mars Takes Its Name From The Roman God of War
The Greeks named this planet as Ares which is the Greek God of War. Then, Roman changed this name. Mars is named after the Roman God of War and is often referred to as the “Red Planet” because of the iron oxide prevalent on its surface giving it a reddish appearance.
6 The First Person to Draw a Map of Mars was Dutch Astronomer Christiaan Huygens
In the year 1610, Mars was viewed by Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei, who was first to see it via telescope. The first person to draw a map of Mars was Dutch astronomer Christiaan Huygens. The maps contain terrain features of mars.
7 Mars Has Two Moons, Phobos and Deimos
Mars has two moons, Phobos and Deimos, which are small and irregularly shaped. These could be captured asteroids. The moon Phobos gets closer to Mars by about 2m in every hundred years. It is predicted that within 30-50 million years, Phobos will either collide with the planet or break up into a planetary ring.