mars_5mar08 - Mars 1 Mars Basics A cold planet (~ -60oC...

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1 Mars
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2 A cold planet (~ -60 o C average) similar in size to earth, on the outer edge of a stellar habitable zone which had liquid water on its surface in the early part of its history and which probably has liquid water in its subsurface at the present time which could contain microbial life. Mars also could be settled and its atmosphere changed to make it habitable(e.g. mckay et al.,1991). Fourth planet : 1.52 au from the sun Radius : 0.53 x earth (i.e. for mars-3,397 km). Bulk density : 3.93 g/ cm 3 which is less than earth (5.52) and closer to that of the moon (3.34). Intrinsic rotation : 24 hrs 37 mins 22 secs – very similar to earth. Orbital period around sun : 1.9 years. Intrinsic surface magnetic field : a strange result-zero today, Old Martian surfaces have remnant magnetic field, suggesting that it had an intrinsic magnetic field. The magnetic dipole field died completely by 3.9 Ga [Acuna et al.(1999)] Mars Basics
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3 Mars- The view from the surface-1
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4 Mars- The view from the surface - 2
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5 Mars The view from the surface-3
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6 Mars
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9 Global Magnetic Field
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10 GLOBAL TOPOGRAPHY AND SURFACE FEATURES The surface area of mars is similar to that of the earth’s continents. the topographic range of ~30 km is the largest of theterrestrial planets. (i) Lowland Plains: Mainly concentrated in the northern hemisphere. ~ 1/3rd. of the total surface area. S ignificantly lower topography than global average by ~4 km. Relatively smooth(even down to ~300 m) and significantly less cratered. mainly sheet lava flows with an ave. composition a little more sio2 rich than for a typical basalt (termed “andesitic”; [ Bandfield et al.,2000,science,v.287,pp. 1626-1630)]. Sediments too from a possible early mars ocean. Thinner crust than the “cratered highlands” at ~35 km. may have formed by some kind of early plate tectonic spreading process in order to make a consistent, thin crust. (ii) Cratered Highlands: Particularly concentrated in the southern hemisphere,giving a marked difference in topography between the two hemispheres. approx. 2/3rd. of the total surface area. S ignificantly higher topography than the global average by ~1-2 km. Heavily cratered and very similar to the moon and mercury in this regard, providing
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This note was uploaded on 09/18/2010 for the course GLG 130 taught by Professor Srinivasan during the Spring '07 term at University of Toronto- Toronto.

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mars_5mar08 - Mars 1 Mars Basics A cold planet (~ -60oC...

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