E2N2_Sep22[2] - MARS: The Red Planet Mars Fact Sheet...

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MARS: The Red Planet
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Mars Fact Sheet Physical properties (relative to Earth): density=0.71; Mass=0.11; Radius=0.53; Gravity 0.38 (100lbs =>38lbs) Rotation prograde : sidereal period is 24 hr 37 m (1 Martian day) Orbital period 687 Earth days • Thin Atmosphere : mostly Carbon Dioxide – Surface temps: 187-244 K, (-123 -- -20 F) – Occasionally reaches 80 F! • Ice Polar Caps : permanent water ice cap ( summer ) and large carbon dioxide ( l dry ice z ) cap ( winter ). Active Volcanoes : Olympus Mons (largest in SS)
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From Earth telescopes over the years
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HST images clearly show seasons and atmosphere
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What can we learn from Argon? • Trace element is inert , not volatile, so amount present indicates amount of Mars ` early atmosphere • Amount is about ¼ of Earth ` s argon abundance => ¼ Earth ` s atmosphere early on?
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composed of ice and dust deposited over millions of years. Swirls are channels eroded into the deposit. Martian north polar cap imaged from Mars Global Surveyor:
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E2N2_Sep22[2] - MARS: The Red Planet Mars Fact Sheet...

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