Most of us believe that Mars is only another isolated, and lifeless planet. Right, its atmospheric conditions are just so extreme to be livable by any life form which we know of. Mars is one of our nearest neighbors, making it relatively simple to reach. Unlike Venus, the planet is moderately hospitable.
Obviously, things would go rather poorly if you choose to walk across this rust-colored world sans spacesuit (temperatures reaching -125 Celsius/-195 Fahrenheit). Nonetheless, the quite tranquil planet is the best place for probes and rovers. Since its conditions are very favorable, we’ve made several jaunts to Mars.
Mars is the 4th planet in our solar system (from the Sun) and last of the terrestrial planets. Like the other planets in the solar system (except Earth), it’s named after the mythological figure – a Roman god of war.
On top of its formal name, Mars is sometimes known as a Red Planet due to its brownish-red color of its surface. It’s a terrestrial planet having a thin atmosphere composed mainly of carbon dioxide. Below are some of the most interesting facts about Mars which you may not be aware of:
1. Mars was formerly thought to be home to intelligent life. This arose from the great discovery of grooves or lines on the surface known as canali by the Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli. He firmly believed that these weren’t naturally happening and were just proof of intelligent life. Nonetheless, these were eventually considered to be an optical illusion.
2. The highest recognized surface point on the Mars is a massive volcano called Olympus Mons
Olympus Mons that means Mount Olympus was named after the home of the historic Greek gods. It is the biggest volcano on Mars and possibly the whole solar system. With the diameter of over 500 kilometers and a summit which towers 25 kilometers over the nearby plains, its volume is more than hundred times that of Mauna Loa in Hawaii. Its base would cover the combined states of Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio.
3. Mars is red since it’s covered with rust (iron oxide). This planet has been observable from Earth long before telescope’s invention. Prehistoric people could observe the faint-red dot floating in the sky. It would be several thousands of years till individuals knew the reason Mars was red.
Rust is not always red or red-orange. Based on the availability of other chemicals, the iron rust can be green, yellow, and even black.
4. In 1997, 3 men from Yemen attempted to sue NASA for invading this planet-Mars, claiming that they had genuinely inherited it from their great ancestors nearly 3,000 years ago.
5. Mars Has 2 Moons –One Is Doomed:
The planet has 2 asteroid-like moons known as Deimos and Phobos. Since they’ve compositions that are same to asteroids existing elsewhere in the Solar System.
According to NASA, many scientists believe the gravity of the Red Planet snatched the two moons long ago and eventually forced them into orbit. However, in the existence of the Solar System, Phobos has a quite short lifetime. In almost 30-50 million years, Phobos is going to crash into the surface of Mars or rip apart since the tidal force of the planet will prove incredibly strong to resist.
6. The soil on Mars is suitable, especially for growing asparagus.
7. Mars has the biggest dust storms in the entire Solar System. They can even last for months and can cover the whole planet.
8. Craters of Mars bigger than 60 kilometers are named for deceased writers, scientists, and any other individuals who’ve contributed a lot to the study of Mars.
9. Aerographer Johann Heinrich Madler combined 10 years of observations and managed to draw the first map of Mars in 1840.
10. The German Aerospace Center realized that Earth lichens can also survive in simulated Mars conditions.