Since I was a little girl I've been obsessed with Astrology. My parents even bought me a telescope which my little brother ruined... I've forgiven him for this (mostly). Anyway from time to time I still like to do some studying up on what's out there. I found some very fascinating information here and here. So here we go.
13 interesting facts about Mars
1. Mars has the biggest mountain in the solar system. It’s called Olympus Mons and is over twice the height of Mt. Everest.
2. The Egyptians gave Mars its first recorded name: Har dècher (“The Red One”).
3. In the 1970’s, the Viking orbiter took pictures of what appear to be giant faces and pyramids carved into the planet’s surface in the Cydonia region. Scientists disagree on whether or not they are just eroded mesas or evidence of an ancient alien civilization but still the idea is cool.
4. For a planet with so little atmosphere, Mars has some of the wildest weather in the solar system. There is a variety of windstorms, dust storms and small tornadoes and there are more of them when Mars is close to the sun.
5. There are huge deposits of ice underneath the planet’s surface.
6. Only 1/3 of all the missions to Mars have been successful. Mars is actually referred to as the “Bermuda Triangle” of the solar system. I would NOT plan a vacation there if I were you.
7. Mars doesn’t have an ozone layer; as a result, the surface of Mars is bathed in a lethal dose of radiation every time the sun rises. Really, a lethal dose? Yikes!
8. Although it is much colder on Mars than on Earth, the similar tilt of Earth’s and Mars’ axes means they have similar seasons.
9. Mars’ seasons are twice as long as those on Earth because it takes Mars 687 days to orbit the sun, twice as long as Earth’s 365 day journey. Eek! This would be great for the summer months but not so great in the winter.
10. During a Mars winter, almost 20% of the air freezes. Refer to pervious comment about winter.
11. The average temperature on Mars is minus 81 Fahrenheit and can range from minus 205 degrees in the winter to 72 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer. No good, I would have to move!
12. Until recently, it was thought that Mars’ polar caps were made from carbon dioxide (dry ice) with only a small amount of water. Later observations indicated that the polar caps were mostly frozen water with a thin layer of carbon dioxide. Why is everything here frozen? This is not a selling point!
13. If melted into liquid form, the amount of water in the southern polar cap would cover the entire planet to a depth of about 36 feet. Holy cow, let’s hope they don’t experience global warning!
That's it for this week. See you next time.