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Ast 101 Planet Mars

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Holden Krivelin

Professor Gelman


AST 101


The planet Mars is the fourth planet from the sun, it is named after the roman god of war. Mars is also described as the red planet due to its reddish appearance surrounding it. It is the smallest planet  in the solar system after planet mercury.  The reddish color on mars is due to the iron oxide that makes it distinctive among the other astrological bodies to the naked eye. Mars is to be a terrestrial planet with a thin atmosphere. It has a thin atmosphere. The planet is mostly made up of carbon dioxide. Mars before being explored it was considered to have extraterrestrial life. When astronomers first began to look at mars they had seen straight lines crossing over the surface This led to their popular belief that the irrigation canals were constructed from intelligent life form. The season colors change on mars which was another reason to believe there would be life on mars.  The atmosphere on mars contains the same levels of carbon dioxide as Venus.  There had always been mystery surrounding the planet compared to the movies like that of Orson Wells “War of the Worlds”. It began in 1877 where Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli used a large telescope to look at the planet mars when it was closer to the earth   which is called parhelic opposition which meant that the orbit of mars was at its closest with the orbit of earth. During the 19th and early 20th century there was reason to believe there were canals on Mars. There was a network of straight lines in the equatorial regions from 60 degrees to 60 degrees south latitude on Mars. Mars is the fourth planet from the sun, being one of the last terrestrial planets, with 227,940,000 distance from the sun. The first trip to mars began with USSR’S Marsnik 1 which first launched in 1960, with only 39 orbiters, landers and rovers have been to mars. But only 16 of those missions were a success. In 2016 Europe’s exobiology program began to search for intelligent life. They mapped out any hazardous environments to make sure all was safe to explore. The planet mars has the second largest mountain on mars named Olympus mon a 21 km high and 600 km diameter shield volcano that formed over billions years ago.  scientists have said that there was a lot of research found that could suggest a lot of lava found which would conclude that Olympic mons could still be active. Mars with all the studies that are occurring now has seen huge dust storms which is the largest ever in the solar system. This is brought on by the power of the sunshine by solar heating. It can cause the air to move lifting dust of the ground. The risks increase of this type of storms occurring when the temperature increases.  These storms occur during all the seasons on planet mars. Mars compared to every other planet is the most hospitable. The talks of Martians also go by the name extraterrestrials from mars popularized in science fiction books and tv. The books alone on mars have made the planet mars one of the most popular planets in the galaxy. The seasons on Mars occur just like on Earth but they are twice as long. This happens because it takes mars 687 earth days to orbit the sun. What is it like the atmosphere on Mars? Mars’ atmosphere is extremely like the planet Venus’, one of the least hospitable atmospheres in all the Solar System. The main component in both atmospheres is carbon dioxide 95% for Mars, 97% for Venus, yet a runaway greenhouse effect has taken hold of Venus producing temperatures more than 480 degrees Celsius while temperatures on Mars never exceed 20 Celsius. This was something other than the composition taking effect. There difference starts with their densities of the two atmospheres. Mars being so thin compared to the planet Venuses atmosphere.   Mars atmosphere has impacted the presence of liquid water on its planet what researchers have shown that even with polar ice caps that contain in possession of frozen water and air that contains the water, as results with mars freezing temperatures and low pressure. Its hard to say if mars can have liquid water on its planet’s surface.  Even though mars does have a weak atmosphere it still experiences weather patterns. The most common weather being the high winds, the addition to that occurring is dust storms. Frost and frog. This has caused some erosion to occur on the earths surface. The northern hemisphere on mars is seen to be relatively smooth with few craters, whereas the southern hemisphere is an area of highlands that are more heavily cratered than the northern plains. Other than topographical differences, the distinguishing feature of the two regions appears to be geological activity, with the northern plains being much more active.

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