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Mars-Planet-2.docx - Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun...

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Mars is the fourth planet fromthe Sunand the second-smallestplanet with a thin atmosphere, having the surface featuresreminiscent both of the impact craters ofthe Moon, and thevalleys, deserts and polar ice caps ofEarth. It is the most widelysearched planet for life.Key Facts & SummaryDue to its brightness and closeness to Earth, Mars has beendocumented for at least 4.000 years thus it is impossible to creditsomeone with its discovery. However, the first person to observe Marswith a telescope was Galileo Galilei in 1610.It is named after the Roman god of war due to its red appearance. Indifferent cultures, Mars represents masculinity, youth and its symbol isused as the symbol for the male gender.Due to the effects of the iron oxide prevalent on Mars’s surface, it has areddish appearance distinctive among the astronomical bodies visible tothe naked eye.It is a terrestrial planet with a thin atmosphere, having surface featuresreminiscent of both the impact craters of Earth’s Moon, and the valleys,deserts and polar ice caps of Earth.Mars is 227.9 million km / 141.6 million mi or 1.5 AU away from the Sun.It takes sunlight about 13 minutes to reach Mars.The farthest distance from Earth is 401 million km / 249 million mi, andits closest distance to us can be 54.6 million km / 34 million mi, while theaverage distance is 225 million km / 140 million mi.Mars has a radius of 3.389 km or 2.105 mi being twice as small asEarth.The diameter of Mars is 6.779 km or 4.212 mi, slightly more than halfthe size of Earth.Mars’s mass is 6.42 x 1023kilograms, about 10 times less than Earth.Mars has a volume of 1.6318 x 10¹¹ km³ (163 billion cubic kilometers)which is the equivalent of 0.151 Earths.The gravity on Mars is about 38% of Earth’s gravity.Mars has a density of 3.93 g/cm³, lower than Earth’s density, indicatingthat its core region contains lighter elements.One rotation/day on Mars is completed within 24.6 hours while a wholetrip around the Sun or year, is completed within 669.6 days.Mars’s axis of rotation is tilted 25.2 degrees similar to Earth which hasan axial tilt of 23.4 degrees.
Mars has seasons though they last longer than on Earth since Marstakes longer to orbit the Sun. The seasons vary in length due to Mars’selliptical, egg-shaped orbit around the Sun.Spring in the northern hemisphere (autumn in the southern) is thelongest season lasting 194 days. Autumn in the northern hemisphere(spring in the southern) is the shortest at 142 days. Northern winter(southern summer) lasts 154 days while northern summer (southernwinter) lasts 178 days.On average, the temperature on Mars is about -80 degrees Fahrenheit /-60 degrees Celsius. In winter, near the poles temperatures can getdown to -195 degrees F / -125 degrees C.From time to time, winds on Mars are strong enough to create duststorms, covering most of the planet while taking months for all the dustto settle, a great impediment for space probes.

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