GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — We have made our way to Mars – the fourth planet from the sun and Earth’s other neighbor.
Although it’s much smaller, did you know Mars has earthquakes, polar ice caps and even weather, just like Earth?
Earth is about twice the size of Mars. While the days on are relatively similar, a year on Mars is almost twice as long as Earth, lasting 687 days.
It’s known as the Red Planet because the iron in the soil oxidized and turned a rusty color. If you wandered the surface, you would see many interesting features like volcanoes and craters. One of the largest craters is long enough to stretch from California to New York.
Mars is also home to the largest volcano in the solar system — it’s three times taller than Mt. Everest with a base the size of Arizona.
If you looked up at the sky, you would see Mars two small moons, Phobos and Deimos. The atmosphere is very thin compared to Earth, with temperatures ranging from 70 to -225 degrees fahrenheit. Winds can blow dust into giant storms, some large enough to take over the whole planet.
Earthquakes on Mars, known as Marsquakes, are a rare event, but NASA’s lander was able to capture one.
There is water on Mars, but it’s all frozen in ice clouds or polar ice caps, as the atmosphere is too thin for liquid water to last long. However, NASA found evidence that Mars used to have liquid water on its surface, with features that suggest giant floods took place just 3.5 billion years ago.
Hopefully, NASA will put an astronaut on Mars soon, so even more secrets about the red planet can be discovered.